National Geographic : 1995 Sep
The earliest hominid? Ape, hominid, or some thing in between? Based on the shape of the embedded tooth, some researchers believe that a 5.6 -million-year-old jaw fragment (above, at left) discovered at Lothagam in 1967 isthe oldest hominid fossil yet found. Skeptics say the fragment istoo meager to classify. Other finds, in the 1970s, have been identified as specimens of the early hominid Aus tralopithecus afarensis: a partial skeleton called Lucy from Hadar in Ethi opia and a 3.5 -million year-old mandible from Tanzania, at right, ex humed by the author's mother-in-law, Mary Leakey. With the 1994 Turkana expedition the another 600,000 years. Meanwhile, research in Ethiopia by Tim White of the University of Cali fornia, Berkeley, has uncovered even older fossils, which he has identified as a new horizon was pushed back genus, Ardipithecus.