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Monday, March 14, 2005

Animal Remains as Old as 4.5 Million Years Discovered in Ethiopia

More than 400 animal remains and artifacts including a high number of primate findings estimated from 3.7 to 4.5 million years of age have been discovered in Galili area in Ethiopia, scientists said on Saturday.

At a news briefing held on Saturday, Professor Gerhard Weber of the Paleo-Anthropological Research Team, said the diverse fauna that include antelopes, giraffes, pigs, elephants, among others, would make Galili a very important paleontology and paleoanthropolgy locality in Africa.

The PAR-Team, an international consortium of research institutes, had begun work in February 2000 under principal investigators Professor Horst Seilder and Professor Gerhard Weber.

The most important finding of the season 2005 is a partial hominid thighbone which was possibly not adapted to upright walking, heavier and taller than later hominids like the almost one million years younger Lucy, the world famous humanoid fossil, according to Professor Weber.

"Apart from this unique fossil, other findings include a partial skull of a medium sized monkey, skulls and jaws of pigs and antelopes," he said.

The Galili area produced more than 1,400 catalogued specimens which are housed at the National Museum of Ethiopia since the starting of the research, Professor Weber said, adding that many localities that produce abundant faunal remains and hominids have been identified.

Angola Press

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