Published: Wednesday 15 August 2001

Fossil hunters have found the bones and teeth of forest-dwelling creatures who are said to have lived more than 5.8 million years ago. The creatures are believed to have walked upright. Yohannes Haile-Selassie, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, usa , along with his colleagues found the fossils in the Middle Awash river valley badlands of Ethiopia.

The new find is intriguing paleontologists because the fossils' ages put them close to the fateful evolutionary split between the lineage leading to modern humans and the one that produced chimpanzees.

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