Fossil foot from Ethiopia is a ‘new species’ of pre-human – and will help scientists home in on the moment our ancestors descended from the trees

The partial foot of a 3.4-million-year-old hominin from eastern Africa, described in this weekís Nature, hints that more than one hominin species may have existed between three and four million years ago, each with its own way of moving around Read more:

A fossilized foot from a mysterious new species of human that walked the Earth three million years ago could offer insight into how Man evolved to walk on two feet.

And the partial remains from suggest more than one type of ‘hominin’ may have existed between three and four million years ago.

Although the new ‘hominin’ would have walked upright, it also had grasping feet used for climbing trees.

The creature came to light when an international team of researchers unearthed a partial foot in eastern Africa.

Like the more famous ‘Lucy’ skeleton, it walked upright, but had a grasping foot that it used to climb tree branches. Scientists said it’s now clear that various human relatives experimented with upright walking.

‘This is just another window into solving the problem of how we got from a primitive foot to the modern human foot,’ said Bruce Latimer of Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University, who helped discover the fossil remains.

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