A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Kenyan fossils complicate the picture of early hominid evolution.
Leakey's find came on the heels of the discovery of what may be the earliest-known human ancestor, a diminutive 6-million-year-old creature represented by fossils from several localities in western Kenya's Tugen Hills. Their date, if accepted, pushes back the earliest-known ancestor by some 1.5 million years. According to excavators Brigitte Senut of the Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris and Martin Pickford of the Collège de France, the fossils represent five individuals of a species they have named Orrorin tugenensis.
Angela M.H. Schuster is senior editor of ARCHAEOLOGY.