Ardipithecus Kadabba

<em>Ardipithecus kadabba</em>

Fossil collection for Ardipithecus kadabba.  Photo courtesy of: Haile-Selassie (2001).

<em>Ardipithecus kadabba</em>

Type specimen for Ardipithecus Kadabba. Photo modified from image by Haile-Selassie (2001).

 

Yohannes Haile-Selassie discovered the first fossil―a piece of a mandible―of what would eventually be designated Ardipithecus kadabba in 1997; at the time, it wasn’t apparent this would become the type specimen of a new species.  However, over the next 10+ years, a growing collection of fossils led Haile-Selassie to identify a new species of hominin.  In 2001, he announced the discovery of Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba, but later determined that kadabba was distinct from ramidus.  So in 2004, he and Tim White renamed it Ardipithecus kadabba.  Ar. kadabba’s status is highly contested, in part because of the ambiguous status of the all-important toe bone, which establishes Ar.kadabba as bipedal.  The toe’s geographic separation from the other finds―a distance of almost 10 miles―as well as its relative age (roughly 400,000 years younger than the other remains) has led to controversy about the actual place Ar. kadabba has in the human family tree, if indeed it belongs there at all.

Ardipithecus Kadabba