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Author Topic:   new aunt/uncle - A. deyiremeda
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1492 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 1 of 13 (758793)
06-02-2015 4:19 PM


quote:
Australopithecus deyiremeda
Posted: May 27, 2015
A new relative joins Lucy on the human family tree. An international team of scientists, led by Curator of Physical Anthropology Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie, has discovered a 3.3 to 3.5 million-year-old new human ancestor species. Upper and lower jaw fossils recovered from the Woranso-Mille area of the Afar region of Ethiopia have been assigned to the new species Australopithecus deyiremeda. This hominin lived alongside the famous Lucy’s species, Australopithecus afarensis. The species will be described in the May 28, 2015 issue of the international scientific journal Nature.
Australopithecus deyiremeda differs from Lucy’s species in terms of the shape and size of its thick-enameled teeth and the robust architecture of its lower jaws. The anterior teeth are also relatively small indicating that it probably had a different diet.
The new species is yet another confirmation that Lucy’s species, Australopithecus afarensis, was not the only potential human ancestor species that roamed in what is now the Afar region of Ethiopia during the middle Pliocene, said lead author and Woranso-Mille project team leader Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie. Current fossil evidence from the Woranso-Mille study area clearly shows that there were at least two, if not three, early human species living at the same time and in close geographic proximity.
This new species from Ethiopia takes the ongoing debate on early hominin diversity to another level, said Haile-Selassie. Some of our colleagues are going to be skeptical about this new species, which is not unusual. However, I think it is time that we look into the earlier phases of our evolution with an open mind and carefully examine the currently available fossil evidence rather than immediately dismissing the fossils that do not fit our long-held hypotheses, said Haile-Selassie.
Exciting stuff
Enjoy
(Human Origins and Evolution?)

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Message 2 of 13 (758811)
06-03-2015 10:33 AM


Thread Moved from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Coyote
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(1)
Message 3 of 13 (758833)
06-03-2015 10:56 PM


Too bad nobody has picked up on this topic. These early finds are important.
Problem is, it takes quite a few years to fit them into the existing database. As each new discovery is made, each previous discovery is re-evaluated (science in action). Sometimes it takes a while for a consensus to be reached as to what exactly the new discovery is/means.
By the time scientists figure out just where a new specimen fits, the media have lost all interest and most folks don't get the details of how the initial claims have been narrowed down.
KNM-ER-1470 is a good example. The dates and assignments have both changed (more than once) since the initial announcement back when I was studying fossil man in graduate school.
So, I'll wait around to see what others think about this new find.

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AZPaul3
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Message 4 of 13 (758834)
06-03-2015 11:07 PM


Well, if no one else is going to say it:
Two more holes just popped up in evilution. That means you gotta go find two more of those non-existent missing-links. Checkmate, scientists!

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1492 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 5 of 13 (758850)
06-04-2015 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by AZPaul3
06-03-2015 11:07 PM


It's always nice to see the holistic approach ...

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1492 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 6 of 13 (758854)
06-04-2015 9:52 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coyote
06-03-2015 10:56 PM


By the time scientists figure out just where a new specimen fits, the media have lost all interest and most folks don't get the details of how the initial claims have been narrowed down.
KNM-ER-1470 is a good example. The dates and assignments have both changed (more than once) since the initial announcement back when I was studying fossil man in graduate school.
quote:
KNM-ER 1470
One of four species
Louis Leakey saw KNM-ER 1470 only days before his death, and, believing the skull to be a million years older than it was, classified it as an indeterminate species of Homo. When scientists later dated the skull to 1.9 million years old, the same age to when Homo habilis lived, the scientific community thought KNM-ER 1470 must then belong to Homo habilis - but the mandible (jaw) and teeth just didn’t seem to fit within acceptable limits of variation or differences for H. habilis. Even if KNM-ER 1470 was considered a large H. habilis male, the size difference would be too great compared to KNM-ER 1813, an established H. habilis female, for the two to both belong to the same species. Over several weeks following its discovery, scientists Meave Leakey and Bernard Wood reconstructed KNM-ER 1470’s skull from more than 150 fragments, revealing a large cranium with a long, wide, flat face. While tooth roots show that this early human had large teeth, the skull lacked the massive jaw muscle features characteristic of robust australopithecines.
Today, most scientists now accept KNM-ER 1470 as belonging to Homo rudolfensis -- as species that co-existed in the Turkana Basin, northern Kenya, with three other species sometime between 2.0 and 1.5 million years ago: Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and Paranthropus boisei.
KNM-ER 1470
Exhibit item
Site: Koobi Fora, Kenya
Date of discovery: 1972
Discovered by: Bernard Ngeneo
Age: About 1.9 million years old
Species: Homo rudolfensis
They also have an interactive bit where you can compare features, and some 3D displays that you can rotate.
They don't list A. deyiremeda yet and the article doesn't give the fossil identification, all it gives is
quote:
Cast of the holotype upper jaw of Australopithicus deyiremeda ...
They have a couple of specimens so far. Hopefully they will find more soon to help sort this out.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1492 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 7 of 13 (758916)
06-05-2015 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coyote
06-03-2015 10:56 PM


and ... they're off and running ...
Declaring The Discovery Of A New Species Can Get Tricky
quote:
... Yohannes Haile-Selassie, curator and head of the physical anthropology department at the Cleveland Museum of Nature History, and his colleagues, announced a new 3.3-million-year-old species of human ancestor contemporaneous with Au.afarensis and living (as Lucy did) in the Afar region of what is now Ethiopia: Australpithecus deyiremeda. (The word "deyiremeda" means "close relative" in the local Afar language.)
Whether you find this news surprising depends, in part, on whether you're a lumper or splitter. The Wikipedia definition of these terms works well for our purposes:
"A 'lumper' is an individual who takes a gestalt view of a definition, and assigns examples broadly, assuming that differences are not as important as signature similarities. A 'splitter' is an individual who takes precise definitions, and creates new categories to classify samples that differ in key ways."
Haile-Selaisse et al.'s decision to create a new category for this East African hominin comes from the splitter camp and is bold (though certainly not unprecedented) given that the fossil material they uncovered consists entirely of jaws and teeth. These scientists are confident that there's adequate morphological variation in the maxilla (upper jaw), mandible (lower jaw) and teeth compared to earlier-described hominins to justify the new species designation. ...
An assertion that Au. deyiremeda is a new species equates, then, to an assertion that it could not have interbred with other hominins living nearby at the time. For White, this causes concern:
White's two points resonate with me, especially the idea that naming a new species means that scientists automatically make probably premature statements about relationships among hominins.
It seems to me that if you have two contemporaneous populations with morphologically distinct features that that would be evidence of genetic isolation.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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Jon
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 8 of 13 (758920)
06-05-2015 5:20 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by RAZD
06-05-2015 3:16 PM


Re: and ... they're off and running ...
There's probably more ego than science at play in all of this.
Who wouldn't want their name attached to the discovery of a new species instead of a new variety?

Love your enemies!

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caffeine
Member (Idle past 1112 days)
Posts: 1800
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


Message 9 of 13 (759077)
06-08-2015 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by RAZD
06-05-2015 3:16 PM


Re: and ... they're off and running ...
It seems to me that if you have two contemporaneous populations with morphologically distinct features that that would be evidence of genetic isolation.
But when one of your populations consists of three partial jaws, the question is whether it is in a fact a distinct population, and we haven't just improved our sample of the variation in one existing population. There are plenty of low frequency traits in modern humans. When the squid people discover one of these for the first time millions of years in the future, clustered together as heritable traits tend to be, it would be rash for them to declare a new species of modern human.

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Coyote
Member (Idle past 2193 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


(1)
Message 10 of 13 (759081)
06-08-2015 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by caffeine
06-08-2015 4:14 PM


Re: and ... they're off and running ...
But when one of your populations consists of three partial jaws, the question is whether it is in a fact a distinct population, and we haven't just improved our sample of the variation in one existing population.
Exactly right. We don't yet know what the range of variation might be.
And to make it worse, those transitionals are sneaky! They look a bit like one group and a bit like the other.

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein
How can I possibly put a new idea into your heads, if I do not first remove your delusions?--Robert A. Heinlein
It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers
If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle
If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1
"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1492 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 11 of 13 (759183)
06-09-2015 3:39 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by caffeine
06-08-2015 4:14 PM


Re: and ... they're off and running ...
But when one of your populations consists of three partial jaws, the question is whether it is in a fact a distinct population ...
And I would agree, were it not that there are quite a number of fossils of the other australopithecines iirc, and that these purportedly fall outside those fossils.
However I see this as part of the peer review process -- an hypothetical suggestion is made and it is reviewed by others in the field, the hypothesis is tested against the known information and predictions of future finds are made to either confirm or refute it.
Maybe I like to think of evolution as bushy rather than linear, or maybe like an ivy with a lot of tendrils that branch off.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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caffeine
Member (Idle past 1112 days)
Posts: 1800
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


Message 12 of 13 (759461)
06-11-2015 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by RAZD
06-09-2015 3:39 PM


Re: and ... they're off and running ...
And I would agree, were it not that there are quite a number of fossils of the other australopithecines iirc, and that these purportedly fall outside those fossils.
Large for a hominin species, but not really that large in an absolute sense. I tried to find some more specific numbers, but that proved a lot harder to do than I expected.
Anyway, as we (or, at least, I) don't have a subscription to Nature, so don't actually know how different these fossils are from Australopithecus afarensis, I guess we can leave it to the experts to argue over for now, as you suggest!
Edited by caffeine, : No reason given.

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jar
Member
Posts: 34064
From: Texas!!
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Member Rating: 3.8


Message 13 of 13 (759463)
06-11-2015 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by caffeine
06-11-2015 3:23 PM


Re: and ... they're off and running ...
There is the old country status referred to as "Kissin cousin twice (or thrice) removed" that may well be applicable in this case. It's for them folk that alust show up when thar's meat on the grill and lonst as there eatins and space at the table you make them feel welcome cus you knows youse related but ain't quite sur how.
Edited by jar, : appalin spallin

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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