Sunday, October 18, 2009

Discovering Ardipithecus

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Aired October 11, 2009 on The Discovery Channel
Following publication in the journal Science on the discovery and study of a 4.4 million-year-old female partial skeleton nicknamed "Ardi," Discovery Channel presented a world premiere special, DISCOVERING ARDI on Sunday, October 11 that documented the sustained, intensive investigation leading up to this landmark publication of the Ardipithecus ramidus fossils.

'Discovering Ardi' begins its story with the 1974 discovery of Australopithecus afarensis in Hadar, northeastern Ethiopia. Nicknamed "Lucy," this 3.2 million year old skeleton was, at the time, the oldest hominid skeleton ever found. As the Discovery Channel special documents, Lucy's title would be overtaken twenty years later by the 1994 discovery of "Ardi" in Ethiopia's Afar region in the Middle Awash study area. It would take an elite international team of experts the next fifteen years to delicately, meticulously and methodically piece together "Ardi" and her lost world in order to reveal her significance.

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