As we continue our journey in 2013, I was fortunate to preview the cover for this month’s American Biology Teacher and was impressed with the picture of Ardipithecus ramidus, given the nickname Ardi. I remember hearing and reading about Ardi back in 2009. Ardi is the most complete skeleton specimen of the early hominids. It has a more complete skull, pelvis, and other bones than “Lucy.” I was reminded how Ardi was about 1 million years older than Lucy, and that both walked upright and were found in Ethiopia.

I read a quote discussing the Ardi discovery: “We thought Lucy was the find of the century,” says paleoanthropologist Andrew Hill of Yale University, referring to the famous 3.2-million-year-old skeleton that revolutionized thinking about human origins. “But in retrospect, it was not.” Samuel Assefa, Ethiopian ambassador to the United States, said about the Ardi find, “The profound point for all...

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