on a Y.” The explicit pathway of evolution can be traced only through fossil records of extinct species located by paleoanthropologists, who track hominids backward in time. The emergence of the first hominid is confirmed by radiometric dates to be a period between 5 million and 7 million years ago. As all early hominids are African, it is also accepted that the First Hominid lived in Africa. However, finding out the definitive new adaptation that transformed a particular primitive species into the First Hominid is difficult.
Based on essential hominid adaptation, it may be assumed that the identification of the First Hominid may be founded on the following unique hominid characteristics, which are key features that differentiate apes from hominids : hominids are essentially bipedal; hominids are apelike creatures that have lost their sexual dimorphism; hominids have thick dental enamel; Hominids are hand-graspers or manipulators, with long, opposable thumbs and big toes that are closely aligned with the remaining short, straight toes. On this basis, a description of the First Hominid may read like this: “An ape-brained and small-canined creature, with dental enamel of unknown thickness. Large if male but smaller if female. May be spotted climbing adeptly in trees or walking bipedally on the ground. Last seen in Africa between 5 million and 7 million years ago.”
There are two contenders for the title of First Hominid. In 2001, Yohannes Haile-Selassie of the University of California, Berkeley, discovered a specimen in Ethiopian sediments between 5.2 million and 5.8 million years old, named Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba, which means “root ape.” The specimen includes more than 20 teeth, pieces of two left humeri, a partial ulna, a partial clavicle, a half of one finger bone and a complete toe bone. The second contender is the 6 million-year-old Orrorin tugenensis, or “original man,” found by a joint French-Kenyan team headed by Brigitte Senut of the