'Little foot' skeleton is dated

Dec 14, 2006

British scientists have dated an ape-man skeleton at 2.2 million years old, suggesting it might not be part of the ancestral tree leading to Homo sapiens.

University of Liverpool and University of Leeds researchers analyzed the skeleton, which was found in 1997 in a South African cave.

Known as "Little Foot," it was believed to be between 2 million and 4 million years old but the team has now dated it precisely to 2.2 million years old.

The finding suggests the ape-like creature might not be the immediate ancestor of human beings as some experts thought. That is because the team found "Little Foot" lived after the arrival of the stone tool makers, Homo habilis, raising the possibility that the family was more of a side branch of the human evolutionary tree.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Study provides new look at ancient coastline, pathway for early Americans

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

ACEs are high with space station colloidal research

40 minutes ago

One global marketer took to space to find a way to be leaner and greener back on Earth. For Procter & Gamble (P&G), product innovation and improvement relied on use of the International Space Station (ISS) ...

NASA image: Fires above the Great Slave Lake in Canada

41 minutes ago

Updates from NWTfire.com report that there are 133 active fires in the North Slave Region of the Northwest Territories. No new fires reported in the past 24 hours. Fire danger is moderate to high. Smoke may ...

Recommended for you

Animals first flex their muscles

13 hours ago

An unusual new fossil discovery of one of the earliest animals on earth may also provide the oldest evidence of muscle tissue – the bundles of cells that make movement in animals possible.

User comments : 0