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.