The vital statistics

by Erin Wayman
Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ardipithecus ramidus was a hominid that lived in Ethiopia’s Afar region 4.4 million years ago. After spending more than a decade studying the species, scientists can now provide a sketch of what the hominid looked like:

Brain: Ardipithecus had a brain size similar to that of a female chimpanzee, about 300 to 350 cubic centimeters.

Stature: Standing 120 centimeters tall and weighing 50 kilograms, Ardipithecus was about the size of a chimpanzee.

Teeth: Ardipithecus had a small canine and lacked a “honing complex.” In modern apes, males have large canines that hone on one of their lower premolars, creating a sharp weapon for use in male-to-male competition. The lack of a big canine suggests there was minimal male aggression in the Ardipithecus species. The teeth also indicate the species had an omnivorous diet.

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