Discovering Ardi (Ardipithecus Ramidus)
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Discovering Ardi (Ardipithecus Ramidus)

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Discovering Ardi (Ardipithecus Ramidus)Following publication in October, 2009 of multiple papers on the discovery and study of a 4.4 million-year-old female partial skeleton nicknamed Ardi in the journal Science, Discovery Channel presented a world premiere special, Discovering Ardi that documented the sustained, intensive investigation leading up to this landmark publication of the Ardipithecus Ramidus fossils.

The scientific investigation began in the Ethiopian desert 17 years ago, and now opens a new chapter on human evolution, revealing the first evolutionary steps our ancestors took after we diverged from a common ancestor we once shared with living chimpanzees.

Ardi's centerpiece skeleton, the other hominids she lived with, and the rocks, soils, plants and animals that made up her world were analyzed in laboratories around the world, and the scientists have now published their findings in the prestigious journal Science.

Ardi is now the oldest skeleton from our (hominid) branch of the primate family tree. These Ethiopian discoveries reveal an early grade of human evolution in Africa that predated the famous Australopithecus nicknamed Lucy.

Ardipithecus was a woodland creature with a small brain, long arms, and short legs. The pelvis and feet show a primitive form of two-legged walking on the ground, but Ardipithecus was also a capable tree climber, with long fingers and big toes that allowed their feet to grasp like an ape's. The discoveries answer old questions about how hominids became bipedal.

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171 Comments / User Reviews

  1. I appreciate this article sticking to the facts but why do all the other articles written about Ardi use the word evolve & link at all?? In all the articles about Ardi she walked upright had a stiff toe & flat teeth. She's human. Gees! Just give up the missing link issue please! I'm not even sure there's is evidence of fur in the face either. That seems presumptious to me. Just saying over 5 million yrs old & human. Can't go too much older...

  2. I think not to say humans come from apes because until now apes that still exist, and scientists still can not explain it clearly, if true ape ancestor Homo sapiens, was evidenced by the ability of technology can not answer whether ardi Ardipithecus ramidus is the same and there are other opinions, our ancestors came from adam, so far the scientists focused on the discovery of human-like fossils why not prove humans came from adam and Eve, scientists from either side but the other side is less developed

    1. First of all, don't attempt to write in English until you have mastered the language. Second, why don't you learn something about evolution before posting this ignorant slab of nonsense?

  3. they go on about how bipedality is so weird and special in humans. Hello! birds do it all the time! But they say it's weird in all of the animal kingdom. Birds are a part of the animal kingdom! If they said bipedality is unique in just the mammal kingdom then i would understand. but these are scientist, come on... also a lot of dinosaurs walked bipedaly so its not that weird at all . PS: i know, birds are related to dinos.

  4. There is, of course, the opposite... by John Pickrell
    "Humans, Chimps Not as Closely Related as we thought." But I'll let you come up with your own conclusions.

  5. Never ever ask a question.

    1. I was a link to an article written by guy named Stefan Lovgren...go check it out at national geo..."chimps. humans 96 percent the same"

    2. I can look at anything and everything. My question is what do you think?

    3. What do you think? Do you think we evolved from chips or trees?

    4. or from Snookie?

    5. I'm asking you.

    6. read. and don't blindly argue with religious fanatics. attack their arguments not their beliefs. also, stay classy san diego. Steve Out.

    7. That's your answer?

    8. Why is it that religious people place the burden of proof on those who do not believe? That is so illogical.
      If I said that I believed in unicorns, then I'm the one who has to prove it to you as there is no evidence for them.

      You believe in God? Prove it.

    9. How can one attack their arguments without attacking their beliefs?

    10. We are a product of evolution.

    11. 96% the same and 100% different.

    12. Actually humans and chimps have over 98% of their DNA in common.

  6. So let us look at them. What do you say?

  7. So what do you say? Hard to prove? What do you say?

    1. I'm saying it could be hard to prove from fossils. If we are to look at genetics as a means to show a connection between modern humans and chimps, we have to look at similarities and differences between the viable chromosomes of both species, as Epi pointed out correctly.

  8. it is clear from the constant wall of text that you guys have been baited...i called this from the start.

    1. Epic,

      You are right, but it did stir us up from our slumber.

    2. his 10,000 year demonic slumber.

  9. I looked up Emory's Yerkes Center. They say they house 3400 non-human primates. They don't say how many human primates they house.

  10. @Steve,

    If you work in Emory University's Darwinian Neuroscience Lab, and you disagree with the per-reviewed document authored by a diverse international team in 2009, plus if you have some solid evidence (behavioral or not), why in the Thor's name you're not publishing your own document to AAAS for per-review.

    The community will try to shred it to pieces but if the logic and the evidence is on your side you shouldn't be afraid. After all you say you're scientist, you know how things work in the process.

    I encourage you to start working on your new thesis. Your friend can help you. Good luck.

    1. Because the argument is moot. We will never have enough evidence. How do you tell an entire group of scientists who dedicated their lives to something that their cause is futile?

    2. What a cop-out!

      Why don't you try. Others, though few, have bucked and changed the mainstream. So why shouldn't you?

      Are you a coward, a phoney or some combination of the two?

    3. did you know that in the early part of the century and last part of the last century, there were peer review articles that confirmed that african-americans who ran away from plantations were actually diseased and could be cured by chopping their foot off. Or how about the peer reviewed articles that justified slavery through an examination of the size and shape of the skull? let's face it...your argument is a weak one.

    4. Cop-out number four, right on cue.

      You've just illustrated one of the beauties of true science, the ability to correct itself and move on. Where are the eugenics and phrenology of yesteryear?

    5. lol. yet that's not what you did. you didn't correct my insulted me because my "religious" conviction. So...what are you saying because it sounds like, "I'm not a scientist."

    6. From what you have written today, it's obvious that you aren't.

    7. oh yeah. totally obvious.

    8. @Steve,

      You're correct but that is not in favor of your argument. In the past there were lot of theories that turned out to be WRONG: The Discovery of the planet Vulcan, Spontaneous Generation, The Expanding Earth, Phlogiston Theory, The Martian Canals, Luminiferous Aether, The Blank Slate Theory, Phrenology, Einstein’s Static Universe, Fleischmann and Pons’s Cold Fusion...

      And that is the beauty of science. It corrects itself all the time. Once again don't be afraid to correct those stupid forensic anthropologists.

    9. I completely agree. I actually kind of am. Most FA's actually know some of these logical flaws, but that wasn't the point of me posting. Similar arguments can be made about Darwinian Neuroscience (i.e., it's hard to find a frame of reference). If anyone has learned anything (besides what was learned in this, surprisingly, decent documentary), it should be that you shouldn't shoot someone's argument down because they have different beliefs.

    10. actually...I'm too busy to convince these people to change their ENTIRE lives. Posting on a forum...way easier.

    11. But....I'm still right. And that's all that matters.

    12. @Steve:

      "But.... I'm still right." And that's all that matters."?? "posting on a forum is way easier"??

      By those remarks leads me to believe you are still a minor schoolboy that is having tantrums, go back and cry to your mommy and daddy, we have no room for your tantrums here on TDF, but have to grant you , nice try.

    13. @Steve,

      By providing more convincing, strong evidence, since your argument is moot.

      The guys at CERN did it. At the stake of ruining their reputations and careers they've decided to unofficially challenge Einstein.

    14. There is a large animosity between behaviorists and the forensic anthropologists.

    15. That shouldn't stop you. Be a man and come out fighting.

    16. Better yet RobertAllen why don't you state your position. It does little to always demean some one else's thoughts. You step forward.

    17. If you haven't figured out my position by this time, you never will.

    18. haha ok so basically....your entire presence here has been a cop out.

    19. @steve
      first off i went to "Emory University's Darwinian Neuroscience Lab "
      and clicked on "people" there they list only 1 person with a Phd and that is in Anthropology. i don't believe you. now if you are who you say you are i wouldn't give any more personal details away online. next i cannot prove you are wrong about ardi being separate from humans, or that god did it or that the devil placed the fossils there,or that aliens did it or or or .... the thing is that science cannot waste the volume of time needed to disprove all these claims (nothing would ever get done). the onus is on you or whomever is making the claims to prove them not the other way around. evolution is not based on ardi alone there is museums ,research facilities and universities full of fossils that support evolution.also genetics,vestigial organs and appendages, observed evolution (long term e-coli experiment among others) and so on so even if ardi is what you claim there is a long way to go to disprove evolution. so instead of asking others to prove you wrong you have to collect evidence to prove yourself right ,perform experiments based on your hypothesis, make predictions based on your evidence,show how your hypothesis works with facts already known and then only then put it up for peer review and there will be many to try to prove you wrong so before you ask others to work on your idea you need to work on it first

    20. I can "figure out" a lot of things. What I can figure out wasn't the question. Tell us your position.

    21. LOL.

      I addition, if Steve is who he says he is, why does he refuse to read peer-reviewed articles?

    22. I've probably seen them before.

    23. Or something similar. You can post an article called "Flight patterns of the condor in Florida" and then another called "Flight patterns of the condor in Virginia." With the same evidence and observation and conclusion. It's how science works. Collaboration. I don't need to read every peer-review to know that a field of study is problematic.

    24. Cop-out number 3--and I guess more are on their way.

    25. You realize you haven't made an argument this entire time?

    26. You realize you haven't written anything of intelligent or worthy of consideration this entire day?

  11. you people are such scientist.

  12. Please someone address that logical problem without saying I don't know enough about anthropology or referring me to studies that make the same assumption.

    1. Don't sidestep the issue. From all your posts, you simply don't know enough about anthropology or any other scientific matters such as archaeology, geology, evolution, paleontology, etc. to come up with anything of any intelligence about them and what's worse, you don't want to know--you don't want to learn!

      You take such pride in your ignorance.

    2. what problem?

    3. "we have species A that has different aspects of species B and C. Therefore, species A is more like species C and, further, there is a connection between species B and C. Besides the obvious problems with this line of reasoning...can you think of any others? How about the basic assumption that Species A is not completely distinct from B and C? This was never adequately proven."

    4. If as you state there is a species A,B, and C, then they must be distinct since they are different species. Your words not mine.

    5. Of course. The issue was putting Ardi on the same evolutionary branch as humans as we know them today. They could be an entirely separate branch. This is the anti-Darwininan argument.

    6. So, for example, we can't really use this evidence to show that there is a closer relation to apes and chimps...that's what we are trying to do here. This might be a similar ancestor, but not a common one.

    7. Ok, gotcha.

  13. educated on what though?

    educated has such a positive connotation.

    how educated is someone that refuses to listen to logic?
    how educated is someone that makes sweeping generalizations and then condemns an entire theory because "our evidence looks better."

    your evidence is horse.

    1. You go by the evidence.

    2. It's interesting you say that. To be honest, Epicurus had it right. This was a test my PhD friend at the sociology department told me about and I was unsure about whether people would actually defend an illogical position. I wanted to see if people really would completely ignore a valid argument because they didn't agree with the beliefs of someone else. You, robertallen1, have done just that. The fact is, there is a deep illogical assumption underlying most forensic-anthropological reconstructions regarding early hominids. Congrats, Robert, you are, in fact, the one who doesn't want to learn. You are, in fact, the blind sheep following scientific dogma. You are, in fact, the ignorant one. (btw I'm an atheist and a Darwinian and have a PhD in evolutionary biology.)

    3. I love it! you must be good at Mastermind game.

    4. Don't try to snow me. You confound abstract logic and the "real" world and if that isn't a sign of ignorance, then . . . But again, from you have written about yourself, you probably know this and are simply playing a game. In other words, pretending to be something you're not. That is reprehensible and I, for one, don't like games!

    5. even Scrabble?

    6. Even scrabble. But perhaps I should modify my statement. I have enjoyed a few episodes of Trivial Pursuit.

    7. @Steve:

      Test from a PHD friend?? I do not believe you, you are just a cuckoo bird that does not have a degree in anything, especially a PHD.

      And Epicurus had it right, a TROLL that is trolling! We have your number, so have fun.

    8. uh-huh lol.

    9. Also:

      "Satan and the legions of demons, such as.
      Ifrit...Khazafram...Arachnradnazaranad...Tagrak...Orision...One-eyed-Cyclops...The Black Sun, and numerous others"

      who is the cuckoo bird? lol

    10. @Steve:

      See, that is what I mean, anyone believing that what I wrote about the demons et al, believing that I was not being facetious, does not have enough smarts to have any degrees in anything, and people who spout about how many degrees they have are just wannabe's.

    11. once again....uh-huh.

    12. Now prove it. I did a little search and have found no Steve...if you are honest then you have no reason to be hiding the facts, you should actually be i am waiting.
      Because i don't side with them, doesn't mean i side with you...i like the middle position, to be thought ignorant has great benefits.

  14. Funny how this conversation gets very short if i don't bring GOD in the picture.
    If anthropological/archeological science was to come up with an alien looking body (which frankly these could be for what we know), people would be quick to say, he was a sick person or it was an exception or or or...
    We have an agreed, by the science community, version of evolution and until someone comes up with a better idea, the educated crowd will bow to and admire the past even though most of them have never set foot on the researched field shovel in hands.

    1. @Azilda,

      ...people would be quick to say

      No, peer-reviewed scrutiny will say, and it will not do it quickly. There is a BIG difference. And no one is bowing to the past. Science is challenged on a daily basis (i.e Neutrinos).

    2. and others will scoff and pretend they know that the scientists are wrong even though THEY have never set foot in a research field. they have no problem disagreeing with people who do.

    3. I am not saying they are wrong, but i am also not saying they are right, you are.

  15. @Vlatko

    Right, they are vanishingly rare. So? So because they are vanishingly rare, we should make a sweeping assumption about our history because the bones of one (assuming all those bones came from the same creature) look similar?

    1. @Steve,

      Since you refuse to read the comprehensive, peer-reviewed description of the Ardipithecus fossils, authored by a diverse international team, I think that the further argumentation on this matter will be futile.

    2. Before you go spouting off, why not try Dawkins, "The Ancestors' Tale?" In it he explains that fossils play only a minor part in our historical biological knowledge--that there are other more important, abundant and reliable aspects such as DNA, microbiology minerology, etc., all of which support paleontology.

  16. AND why is it that (accepted) science does not research the possibility of aliens having altered our conception and perhaps providing a missing link? Why are educated people bringing this idea forward have to be thought as lunatics?
    I would think science especially would be very curious about that possibility knowing full well that science itself is about (or wishing) to take humans in deep space.

    1. Because we don't need aliens to explain our existence.

    2. We need everything possible and impossible in the mind of people to explain our existence, always did always will. Your phrase reminds me of what some people would have said 200 yrs ago about flying.

    3. Including Creation by God?

    4. Nothing should be excluded when one wants to solve the why of i. God may be something entirely different that the accepted invisible man in the sky by religion.

    5. Yet you must admit that we came about by one and only one means. This necessarily excludes all other means. We were not built by committee. Which to you is most plausible?

    6. I'm not saying that we didn't or did. However, this documentary claims exactly what I've said is problematic below. I'm not trying to say that this isn't the most pragmatic explanation or that it isn't the right explanation. I'm saying that we should be careful about our assumptions and realize they are just that....assumptions. Just because I must admit that we came, probably from the water, and probably from an ape-like creature, doesn't mean that Ardi gives us the ability to "prove Darwin right." The fact is, we will never have a complete enough timeline. Fossils are disappearing fast and we will never know if we have "enough." We will never be able to prove Darwin right through foresnic-anthropological studies. why I'm a behavioralist and this is why I study evolution through the brain and not through bones, like many of my colleagues. We simply will never know. My point was to show everyone that, just because you don't believe what someone else believes, doesn't make you any more right then they are. The fact is that not enough evidence, as far as I'm concerned, equals no evidence.

    7. Again at the risk of of droning on and on, we came from one and only one "source". What do you think that was?

    8. there are many theories. most reasonable, some more-so then others. If we are going to trace life back far probably started in the form of extremeophiles. How those got there, I'm not sure..there are several theories. Some argue there is a primordial ooze and that, at first, there were cells willing to share genetic information. eventually one a--hole cell didn't want to share and then others started not wanting to share and that's how we developed speciation. I'm not 100% convinced on any of the theories but they are all reasonable.

    9. Again, please don't try to snow me or anybody else. You cannot draw your conclusions anent evolution, geology, biology with just thought alone, i.e., without evidence.

      In short, you have it all backwards. You deduce from the preponderance of the evidence, not the other way around.

      P.S. I see that I am not the only one who does not believe who you say you are.

    10. Lol. Wait...

      "In short, you have it all backwards. You deduce from the preponderance of the evidence, not the other way around."


    11. Because there is as much evidence for it as for the creation of the world by pixies.

    12. How would you know what evidence to look for in aliens?
      Aliens would have to be extraneous to be alien. Ardi might have been one, how would we know?

    13. How do we know that Ardi wasn't a pixie in disguise?

    14. He is pretty naked isn't he?
      You are being a child.

  17. In all the years archaeological search have been done, we are presented now and then with a "most ancient" specimen that is suppose to have been collected almost complete within an area. Why is it that there is always just one specimen? Why not 20 or more or less within the area? We know apes hang in groups as we do, so why are they finding 1? Where are all the found specimen that "may" contradict their hypothesis?

    1. @Azilda,

      Because only about one bone in a billion, it is thought, ever becomes fossilized.

      If that is so, it means that the complete fossil legacy of all the Americans alive today - that’s 270 million people with 206 bones each – will only be about fifty bones, one quarter of a complete skeleton.

    2. That's a big IF. So are you saying that out of a group of Ardi folks, they were successfull in finding most of one's uncle and not one bone of the rest of the family was found??????

    3. @Azilda,

      There is no big IF. It simply illustrates that fossils are vanishingly rare.

    4. So why do they find many trees in the petrified forest and not just one?

    5. Petrified wood is a different kind of fossil. Google it.

      In petrified forests there are lot of animal fossils too (Late Triassic).

    6. @Vlatko

      Please don't ask Steve to Google it. This goes against his grain. He would rather remain ignorant.

      To set the record straight, we have found clusters of fossils as a number of documentaries on your website have attested.

    7. Ok, I'm being a smartass here. That's why they call it a forest.

    8. And as i said humans were always part of what we call families.

    9. Could be. But that is the easy way out. History tells a different story. We are what we are as humans. And it ain't butterflies and blue skies.

  18. "nuh-uh" is not an argument. prove me wrong....

  19. Do you know enough about the fossil records to state that they are inconsistent. You obviously haven't.

    Do you know enough about the scientific evidence for evolution to state that you have more? I don't think you have any at all.

    Do you know enough about Ardi to state that it was completely separate from humans and chimps (whatever that means)? You obviously don't know what you're talking about.

    Do you know enough about science to characterize it as self-serving? I don't think that you have any idea what you mean by this.

    Do you know enough about Jesus to characterize him? No one does--not even you.

    You accuse me of uncritically accepting everything I hear and read--well, what and how much have you read? What and how much have you studied? Answer, next to nothing.

    Your posts qualify as some of the most ignorant, in both content and thought, ever placed on this website.

    1. to your first question....I know what this video has shown. Anthropological Reconstruction is such a vague and inexact science. They necessarily make a few assumptions.
      1) the bones come from the same creature
      2) we can guess what the rest of the bones look like

      to your second question...I was talking about Anthropological Reconstruction. It's as much guesswork and conjecture as many aspects of theological interpretation.

      third....and probably the most's called logic. Follow the argument...we have species A that has different aspects of species B and C. Therefore, species A is more like species C and, further, there is a connection between species B and C. Besides the obvious problems with this line of reasoning...can you think of any others? How about the basic assumption that Species A is not completely distinct from B and C? This was never adequately proven.

      fourth...yes actually. I know more about science then you and obviously more about logic.

      fifth...I am Jesus.

      sixth... you can't spell "accuse." But, besides that, there you go again with the assumptions.

    2. Why not learn something about anthropological (archaeological) reconstruction before demeaning it to the guesswork and conjecture of theology or is yourignorance too temptingly blissful?

      If you know nothing about what you're dealing with (and you don't) and nothing about the way it functions (which again you don't), your "logical" statements are simply ill informed and idiotic.

      You're as ignorant of science as you are about Jesus (with whom you inanely identify) which makes you doubly delusional.

      P.S. The word is "inconsistencies." Perhaps it was a typo, just as mine was, but I've already corrected it. What's your problem?

  20. I know that the fossil records are inconsistent and that much conjecture needed to be made to connect missing pieces of the anthropological timeline. The inconstancies are chalked up to what? Unfinished science? Sure...why not. Maybe it's the Devil. You want to talk about evidence, you "scientists" have as much evidence as I do. I know that there is a severe problem with the scientist's argument for Darwin's theories when you consider the possibility that this "Ardi" was completely separate entity from humans today (i.e., that "three-pronged" branch analogy could have had another prong that was "Ardi" and humans as we know it could have extended from the moment He created us). Maybe I can break the problem down for you...Ardi is being used to further the argument that there was a common link between humans and chimps. The argument fails if you consider that Ardi was completely separate from both humans and chimps. I watched an hour and a half of a video that completely didn't examine one fatal flaw in it's own argument. You say science is impartial, I say science is self-serving. Jesus actually DOES care about all of us and it behooves human kind not to get sucked into the self-serving dogma that is science. You may despise me Robertallen1....but I will pray for you. I will pray for all of you. I will pray that you actually listen critically to things you hear and not simply accept them as true.

    1. @Steve:

      Do not pray for me from your vague authority! you have no right to invoke anything from your invisible gods on behalf of anybody's well-being. How do we know that you are not a worshiper of Satan and the legions of demons, such as.
      Ifrit...Khazafram...Arachnradnazaranad...Tagrak...Orision...One-eyed-Cyclops...The Black Sun, and numerous others, we should all then get an Exorcist!? Class action suit, Hmmm?

  21. I'm just trying to say that there are inconstancies in the arguments conjured up by these "scientists" and the words written by the prophets as they actually experienced it. Free Speech and all that...1st amendment. Wouldn't want to censor people. But, that doesn't mean it's right to confuse everyone with this pseudo-science.

  22. @Vlatko

    I hope that is a joke. I think we all know there is only one God...and he wasn't a monkey nor was he Nordic. This stuff about apes is very nice mental you-know-what...but we don't know for sure. We do know that all those fossils are just put there by the Devil to throw us off from following His word. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but know that the wrong one will send you to the fiery depths of you-know-where.

    1. @Steve,

      I'll take my chances. I'll believe in Thor, you believe in your God, some will believe in Allah, some in Buddha, some in hundreds of Hindu Gods, and on, and on... We'll see what happens at the END.

      Sagan was right:

      Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.

      The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous.

      However: We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.

    2. "We do know that all those fossils are just put there by the Devil to throw us off from following His word."

      okay now we know you are a troll.

  23. This is blasphemy and against the TRUE word of God. You scientists should all be ashamed and I hope that He forgives you and lets you obtain the splendor of Heaven.

    1. @Steve,

      Right, and I hope Thor forgives YOU for believing in a different God, and lets you obtain the splendor of the hammer-wielding heaven.

    2. @Steve:

      Brrr, heavens to murgatroyd! Am sure glad there is no more burning at the stake by you happy clappy wonders.

      Anyway, your god is impotent.

    3. What do you (or anyone else for that matter) know of the TRUE word of god much less the devil?

      What do you know of the "inconsistencies" of "scientists," not to mention science itself?

      What do you know about evolution?

      What do you know about anything substantial other than what you "think" you know?

      I despise people like you.

  24. Ye gods, this documentary is frustrating!! 20% facts, 80% rhetoric. JUST GET ON WITH IT!! I have to say I find this happens a lot with the Discovery Channel. Can't they just cut the waffle? And the background music - this isn't an episode of 24.

  25. Man at the top of the pyramid is an anthropocentric view. Man has co-evolved alongwith other multicellular organisms and to think that Chimpanzee has preevolved hominid is not tenable. If we go back on the evolutionary scale we may get more and more of Ardi like creatures. Going by the evolutionary theory of Darwin only subtle changes which will be evolutionally important to advance the progeny of an animal or a living being, will be reckoned. The smaller canine, missing tail,bipedalism is sufficient proof that apes are a way different from hominid. My guess is Ardi was a tree climber, the long hands and legs must have been used regularly to grip the branches for foraging. Carrying food for the group is an activity bordering altruism,which might have not evolved during that period. Probabaly if some light could be thrown on Lucy's period we may be able to understand the bonding of groups, as cranial capacity of Lucy is more than that of Arid. If we go back many more million years before Arid, we may come across a smaller version of Arid but not of an ape. The genetical progression has taken place in the Hominid branch of the evolutionary tree only and to reach for the ultimate link between apes and man may not be visible at all. The language area in the brain of man, is the ultimate proof that the two never met, even during the eocene times. I thank Discovery channel for the wonderful presentation.

  26. A little slow, but quite fascinating.

  27. nice

  28. I didn't know that greg kinnear was an anthropologist. Dude even sounds like him.

  29. great doc. fine detail, in depth participation by sailesse, white & lovejoy, the original anthropologists.

    what i find most striking about this species, along with lucy, is that it shows how little reasoning sometimes avails us in predicting the manner by which nature has proceeded upon an evolutionary course (our course, in this instance). we know point z (modern hss and chimps). we presumed point a might be something a lot more like a chimp. wrong.

    we reasoned that a thinning of trees would be the trigger to create a habitat conducive to the evolution of bipedality. wrong.

    does this mean that reason is of no use? NO. reason is the great hypothesis-generator, the corrective, the evaluative, the technology-inducer - BUT its limitations reinforces the truth that observation is the lingua franca of science, not speculative theories.

    to the fellow speculating about hominids living in waist deep water - what about the crocodilians - they might have had something to say about that gambit. (iow, wrong)


  30. WoW. Someone familiar with the Aquatic Ape theory. Glad to meet you.

  31. Thanks Vlatko for adding this new documentary, Discovering Ardi (Ardipithecus Ramidus).

    At first I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I began watching it and half expected it to be a little boring and another adventure into what makes us human.

    However I was quickly to be proved wrong as the information presented on the new discovery of Ardi (Ardipithecus Ramidus) was really very interesting.

    This discovery of course is only new to the public watching this in-depth documentary as the original Ardi (Ardipithecus Ramidus) bones were first discovered 17 years ago and then the process began to try to understand what had been found.

    Documentaries like this are very important both for young people looking to enter into the field of archeology and the public like myself who enjoy being educated on these scientific finds because it shows us the huge amount of time that goes into making these discoveries and trying to solve the puzzles.

    I was astonished by the amount of time spent in the field first to find the fossils, then to clean and prepare them, and then to analyze them and try to put them together.

    So many people collaborating from all over the world from 30 research institutions (Universities and Colleges) to try and solve the puzzles of where do the pieces go and what do they mean.

    And based on the evidence provided one can be forgiving if some mistakes can be made. Some comments suggested that it was ridiculous that so much could be ascertained from the limited bones available. Ie that Ardi (Ardipithecus Ramidus) was a female and walked upright.

    However one has to remember that these scientists have worked in the field and their respective disciplines for years and years. There are small nuances of a bone structure that a non professional would miss. So it is easy for a non-professional to be critical.

    However when you have a large geographically dispersed professional forensic team working on the case the chances of mistakes occurring becomes less and less.

    Again an absolute decision cannot be perfect as the bones are 4 million years old. That anything was found is a miracle in and of itself.

    As the documentary went on I found myself being pulled in more and more to the story of what was Ardi (Ardipithecus Ramidus) and what did it look like. Was it really an ancestor of modern man? Was it really bipedal? And how was this design an intermediary step?

    To see the scientists, researchers, computer technicians, software developers, and artists at work for years was really something. I think what I also enjoyed the most was the love that these people had for science and discovery and not the love for money that seems so prevalent today in other disciplines.

    In the end the Discovery team joined the project and with its resources was able to take Ardi (Ardipithecus Ramidus) to the next level and attempt to bring her to life through modern computer animation techniques. An attempt that I personally thought was very successful.

    Is Ardi (Ardipithecus Ramidus) the creature we see reconstructed in the animations? We will never know until a time machine has been invented that will allow us to go back in time.

    However based on all of the research done by the scientists and their years of experience in their respective fields I would like to accept their findings as a best guess for what Ardi (Ardipithecus Ramidus) was like 4 million years ago.

    The conclusions made at the end made sense with regards to why Ardi (Ardipithecus Ramidus) would survive and prosper to eventually become the modern human race 4 million years. In very slow steps we have evolved from one form to another. The more successful the changes and adaptations the more offspring are able to live and carry on their genes to the next generation.

    As these scientists, researchers, archeologists, and paleontologists move back into the fossil record it will be even more interesting to see what they find. Along the way changes may be required to past discoveries as new evidence becomes available.

    When dealing with such huge leaps into the past, one can never be absolutely sure. However that should never ever stop science from trying to understand.

    Prior to this program to be honest I really was not that interested about where I originated or evolved from. However after this program I am definitely more interested in my family tree.

    I look forward to more documentaries like these that showcase the years of effort by specialists in their fields to try and better understand how the human race evolved at its earliest origins.

    Special thanks to the Discovery Team who spent the time and effort to put this story together on Ardi (Ardipithecus Ramidus) highlighting the huge time and effort spent by everyone in this very interesting research project.

    If I have learned anything in this documentary, it is those parents who are able to bring home the food on a consistent basis at the end of the day, who ultimately succeed in passing on their genes to the next generation. Adaptations in physical ability, mental ability, eating habits, and hunting habits seem to have all contributed to the evolution of modern humans. A process that continues today across the world.

    Arnold Vinette
    Ottawa, Canada

  32. Wow – “rogphys” - I was struck by the level of detail provided to show the huge amount of effort, expertise, checking, cross checking, validation, and on and on. How you can so casually dismiss what you just watches is amazing. Excellent video from beginning to end. How anyone can question the proven science of evolution and human origins lives on a flat earth and with a willfully ignorant mind. It is interesting that they say Ardi is a new branch on the tree showing a common ancestry before chimpanzees. Seems likely there would be many such branches between Chimps and Humans.

  33. The evidence is wanting that its a she..from jaw bone, right! .. piece of pelvis says it walked upright, right!...skeleton is size of chimp and so is brain..has.toe like chimp..face in drawing is a chimp...utter skitzphrenia in the archaelogy world is my diagnosis!

  34. They think Arti is a she...a she what? the evidence is she had saggy breasts and hair everywhere..again wanting...assume it was bipedal from partial pelvic bones and a foot that is like a chimp...brain size of chimp..., one cervical vertebra to ponder evidence it is human to me.

  35. Did also want to mention that this was a fascinating video. Well done and beautifully presented. Thank you.

  36. Considering all of the anomalies mentioned and even emphasized there are lots of questions here imo. Could Ardipithecus Ramidus be a side development that died out? There is certainly evidence enough of this having happened many times in the evolution of other animals, why not of hominids as well?

  37. I am amazed at the skills demonstrated by the archaeologists and their teams in this film . They are able to see the significance of fossil, while in the field, that to me, look like nothing more than some odd shaped rocks.