Fossil discoveries evidence our nurtured origins

Paleoartist reconstruction of the 4.4 millian year old human ancestor, Ardipithecus ramidus standing in its natural habitat
Artist’s reconstruction of the 4.4 mya Ardipithecus ramidus in its natural habitat (Painting by paleoartist Jay H. Matternes)
Fossil remains of early australopithecine (right side) match up remarkably well with the bones of a pygmy chimpanzee (left side)
Left side: Bonobo skeleton. Right side: Early australopithecine. (Drawing by Adrienne L. Zihlman from New Scientist, 1984)
Ardi front on portrait
Artist’s reconstruction of the 4.4 million year old Ardipithecus ramidus (by Jay H. Matternes). What a relief to see a portrait of our distant ancestors that doesn’t make them appear brutish and aggressive, but instead innocent and sensitive!
Science magazine cover featuring Ardi
‘Breakthrough of the Year’: cover of the December 2009 issue of Science magazine
Ardi standing upright beside skeleton
Reconstruction of Ardipithecus ramidus showing its bipedality (by Jay H. Matternes)
Kibwesi forest in Kenya
Kibwesi Forest, Kenya — ‘the best modern analog’ for the habitat of Ardipithecus ramidus (Gibbons 2009, ’Habitat for Humanity’, Science 326:40).
Painting reconstruction of Ardipithecus in its natural environment by Mauricio Anton
Artist’s impression of Ardipithecus in its environment (by Mauricio Anton)
Images of bonobos nurturing their infants
Like that of our early ancestors, bonobos society is matriarchal, with the focus on the nurturing of infants
Comparison between human, chimpanzee and ardipithecus canines
Human (left), Ardipithecus (middle), male chimpanzee (right) (‘Paleobiological Implications of the Ardipithecus ramidus Dentition’, Science, 200, Vol. 326, №5949)
Bonobo female Lana walking upright carrying a branch
A bonobo female displays her dominance by dragging a branch. Note also the bipedality.
Bonobo Matata and her adopted son, Kanzi, and Jeremy’s drawing of Madonna and child

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