A 3-million-year-old man’s bones were discovered by anthropologist D. Carl Johanson in Ethiopia. The skull, lower leg, and femur of this hominid from the genus Australopithecus were found, providing concrete evidence that our ancestors walked on two legs more than 3 million years ago.

Fossil analysis suggests that several species of hominid walked on two legs around 5 million to 7 million years ago, including the oldest known, Sahelanthropus tchadensis. However, some paleoanthropologists are still skeptical about whether these features prove bipedalism or if they belonged to a monkey that occasionally walked upright.

Maria Temming is an associate editor at Science News Explores and has a BA in Physics and English and a MA in Science Writing. This article was supported by readers like you and investigates quality science journalism through donations today.

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