Agriculture
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Amphibians
Salamanders and Newts
Frogs and Toads
Tree Frogs
Animals
Cannibal Crickets
New Elephant-Shrew
Red Apes in Danger
Behavior
Training Your Brain to Feel Less Pain
Making light of sleep
Lightening Your Mood
Birds
Flightless Birds
Cranes
Flamingos
Chemistry and Materials
Lighting goes digital
Hair Detectives
Big Machine Reveals Small Worlds
Computers
Galaxies far, far, far away
Middle school science adventures
Batteries built by Viruses
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Downsized Dinosaurs
Middle school science adventures
An Ancient Spider's Web
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Riding to Earth's Core
Petrified Lightning
Flower family knows its roots
Environment
Swimming with Sharks and Stingrays
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Little Bits of Trouble
Finding the Past
Ancient Cave Behavior
Sahara Cemetery
Little People Cause Big Surprise
Fish
Piranha
Parrotfish
Hagfish
Food and Nutrition
Chocolate Rules
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
Building a Food Pyramid
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. Whom
Problems with Prepositions
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Mathematics
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Math is a real brain bender
Play for Science
Human Body
A New Touch
Heavy Sleep
Remembering Facts and Feelings
Invertebrates
Ants
Mollusks
Snails
Mammals
Felines
Dalmatians
Porcupines
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
How children learn
Physics
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Gaining a Swift Lift
Electric Backpack
Plants
Nature's Alphabet
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Assembling the Tree of Life
Reptiles
Chameleons
Crocodiles
Gila Monsters
Space and Astronomy
Supernovas Shed Light on Dark Energy
A Dusty Birthplace
Icy Red Planet
Technology and Engineering
Slip Sliming Away
Spinach Power for Solar Cells
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
What is a Preposition?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Robots on the Road, Again
How to Fly Like a Bat
Revving Up Green Machines
Weather
A Dire Shortage of Water
Science loses out when ice caps melt
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Add your Article

Meet your mysterious relative

Her scientific name is Ardipithecus ramidus, and scientists call her Ardi for short. She is ancient — her bones are 4.4 million years old — and is making scientists think about the distant past in a whole new way. Ardi is an example of an extinct species that may help scientists understand how human beings evolved the way we did. She is a hominid, which means she belongs to the same evolutionary family as people. It’s not clear whether Ardi was a direct ancestor of humans. Scientists have just published more than a dozen studies on Ardi’s species — and this is just the first wave. Ardi’s skeleton is so surprising that “no one could have imagined it without direct fossil evidence,” says Tim White, an anthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who has studied Ardi. (An anthropologist is a scientist who studies human beings and their ancestors.). Ardi first started to show up in 1992, when scientists found her fossilized teeth in Ethiopia. In 1994, her hand bone was found. For three years after that, scientists worked to remove more of her skeleton, including her arms, hands, pelvis, legs and feet. She was believed to be female because she had a relatively small skull and small canine teeth. Between 1981 and 2004, scientists removed other skeletons of other individuals of the same species from the same area. They also removed fossils of other animals and of plants. White says Ardipithecus looks different from any living primate, so it’s hard to get an idea of Ardi’s appearance by looking at modern primates such as monkeys or apes. Some scientists have believed that the common ancestor of people and apes resembled a chimpanzee, but Ardi shows that idea may not be true. Ardi’s partial skeleton that scientists have found shows that she could walk upright and easily climb trees and move along branches — traits more easily identified in monkeys or apes. It also shows that Ardi probably couldn’t swing from branch to branch. “It now seems that the last common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans was much less chimplike than previously thought,” says Alan Walker, an anthropologist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. White and his team think Ardi probably stood almost four feet tall and weighed about 110 pounds. This means Ardi is significantly larger than Lucy, a partial skeleton from a different species that lived on Earth 3.2 million years ago. Lucy was also found in Ethiopia. Even though Lucy and Ardi came from different species, they are probably related. Scientists may be able to use information from Ardi’s discovery to learn more about how Lucy’s species evolved. Owen Lovejoy, an anthropologist at Kent State University in Ohio, also thinks scientists can learn a lot from Ardi’s teeth. He says small canines — especially in the males of the species — suggest that the males rarely fought. Male apes with large canines often show their teeth when they’re fighting over females. In Ardi’s teeth, Lovejoy sees the beginning of an evolutionary process that led to human beings. “This is one of the most revealing hominid fossils that I could have imagined,” he says.

Meet your mysterious relative
Meet your mysterious relative








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™