A fossil found recently in Chad, classed as a new species (Australopithecus bahrelghazali), and nicknamed ‘Abel’, was the first australopithecine to be found west of the Great Rift Valley (actually 2,500 kilometres, or 1,500 miles, from where others were found).1
However, despite enthusiastic reports about ‘a new species of early man’ the reality is that the australopithecines (of which this is supposed to be the ninth type) have been dismissed from the line of human evolution by some of the most respected names in the field.
Also, on the basis of inner ear bony anatomy, they have been conclusively shown to have had an ape-like, not at all upright, style of walking.
We are told that ‘Abel’ was not only definitely a new species, but also that it had ‘a body resembling man and a brain resembling apes’. Yet from reports to date, it appears that only a ‘partial [lower] jaw’ was found.
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