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

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

Author information

1
Earth Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA. wgiday@lanl.gov

Abstract

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.

PMID:
19810191
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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