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Science. 2009 Oct 2;326(5949):65e1-5.

The geological, isotopic, botanical, invertebrate, and lower vertebrate surroundings of Ardipithecus ramidus.

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Earth Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA.


Sediments containing Ardipithecus ramidus were deposited 4.4 million years ago on an alluvial floodplain in Ethiopia's western Afar rift. The Lower Aramis Member hominid-bearing unit, now exposed across a > 9-kilometer structural arc, is sandwiched between two volcanic tuffs that have nearly identical 40Ar/39Ar ages. Geological data presented here, along with floral, invertebrate, and vertebrate paleontological and taphonomic evidence associated with the hominids, suggest that they occupied a wooded biotope over the western three-fourths of the paleotransect. Phytoliths and oxygen and carbon stable isotopes of pedogenic carbonates provide evidence of humid cool woodlands with a grassy substrate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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