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"What puzzles me more than anything else," Leakey said in a telephone interview yesterday, "is just what its relationship is to the other hominids of the same period.Where Lived: Eastern Africa (Lake Turkana, Kenya and Middle Awash, Ethiopia) When Lived: About 4.2 to 3.9 million years ago Australopithecus anamensis has a combination of traits found in both apes and humans.Features of the newfound fossil, however, are completely different and place it in a previously unknown category, its discoverers say.
Discovered by Kenyan Justus Erus and Meave Leakey of the National Museums of Kenya during 19 , the fossil, named Kenyanthropus platyops, is strikingly different from its contemporary and neighbor Australopithecus afarensis, the species to which the 3.2-million-year-old Lucy belongs.
The position of Kenyanthropus platyops has yet to be determined.
A jawbone fossil, left, and an arm bone found around Lake Turkana in northwestern Kenya may provides clues to when man's ancestors began walking upright.
africanus, or deserves to be part of a separate genus called Paranthropus along with other large hominid species like Paranthropus robustus has been the subject of debate.
Some population of the smaller, or gracile, Australopithecines were the ancestors of Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and eventually Homo sapiens, while Paranthropus was probably an evolutionary dead end.Now we know, through a combination of new fossil finds and molecular biology, that humans and chimpanzees diverged as little as 7 million years ago, and that our own lineage is "bushy", with many different species in existence at the same time.