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Fossil finds prompt rethink on evolution.

A FOSSIL discovery in Africa has forced a rethink of the way people evolved.

The evidence suggests two Homo species believed to be direct ancestors of modern humans may not have been related.

Homo sapiens, the species to which every human on Earth today belongs, is assumed to have arisen from Homo erectus in eastern Africa more than a million years ago.

Before the new finds came to light, most experts believed Homo erectus in turn evolved from the more primitive Homo habilis.

However, the two latest fossils, discovered in 2000 in the Ileret region, east of the Lake Turkana in northern Kenya throw this simple picture into disarray.

They suggest that Homo habilis and Homo erectus lived side-by-side for almost half a million years and occupied different ecological niches, rather than one evolving from the other.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 9, 2007
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