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Say Hello to Australopithecus deyiremeda, A Newly Discovered 3.4 Million Year Old Hominid

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This fragment of upper jaw (shown) was discovered sitting on top of the sediment in the Woranso-Mille area of central Afar in Ethiopia. Anthropologists have now identified it as belonging to a new species of early human ancestor called Australopithecus deyiremeda that lived between 3.3 million and 3.5 million years ago

This fragment of upper jaw (shown) was discovered sitting on top of the sediment in the Woranso-Mille area of central Afar in Ethiopia. Anthropologists have now identified it as belonging to a new species of early human ancestor called Australopithecus deyiremeda that lived between 3.3 million and 3.5 million years ago

A study published in Nature today announces the 2011 discovery of Australopithecus deyiremeda a hominid that lived between 3.3 and 3.5 million years ago. The species is represented by a maxilla, mandible and dentition found in the Woranso-Mille area of the Afar region of Ethiopia about 22 miles from the spot where the remains of Australopithecus afarensis were found. A. afarenis is thought to have lived between 3.9 million and 2.9 million years ago.

The size of the jawbone and the shape of the teeth of the new species resemble that of afarensis, but the researchers lay claim in their paper that some of the features are very distinct from it. Yohannes Haile-Selassie, curator of physical anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History who led the study, said Australopithecus deyiremeda appears to belong to a sister species of early Homo and other Australopithecines.

This piece of lower jaw from Australopithecus deyiremeda shows that it had a more robust jawline than the famous early human, known as Lucy, but also had smaller front teeth that suggests it had a different diet

This piece of lower jaw from Australopithecus deyiremeda shows that it had a more robust jawline than the famous early human, known as Lucy, but also had smaller front teeth that suggests it had a different diet.

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This casts of the upper and lower jaws from the new species shows how they would have fitted together.

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This left side of the lower jaw of Australopithecus deyiremeda was found 3.2ft (one metre) from the other side.

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