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But scientists had suspected that tool-making went significantly farther back: Five years ago, paleoanthropologists reported finding animal bones in Ethiopia that bore the signs of being cut 3.3 million to 3.4 million years ago.That evidence of tool use was associated with Australopithecus afarensis, the species best-known for the fossil dubbed "Lucy." In an email, Lucy's discoverer told NBC News that the latest find could represent "a major step back in time" for the history of stone tool use among hominins — that is, the prehistoric ancestors of modern humans.
The researchers' estimate of the age of the tools — 3.3 million years — is based on an analysis of the sedimentary layer where they were found.We found strong evidence for seven shared segmental genome duplications, corresponding to more than 50% of the segmental genome duplications previously determined in rice.Analysis of synonymous substitution rates (Ks) suggested that shared duplications originated before the divergence of these two species.Before Lomekwi, the oldest known stone tools came from other sites in Ethiopia.They're thought to have been made 2.6 million years ago, most likely by early members of the genus Homo."It's an amazing find, but I think we don't exactly know just yet what it means for hominin behavioral evolution," he said.
In light of the Lomekwi find, Johanson said researchers will probably "refocus their energies on this time period in attempts to locate more instances of such activity." Among the candidates for the tool-makers are Australopithecus afarensis, another extinct species known as Kenyanthropus platyops, or perhaps some unknown species that could conceivably fit in the genus Homo.Objective To determine whether PGI changes occur before onset of clinical signs of preeclampsia.Design, Setting, and Participants Multicenter prospective study from 1992 to 1995 of subjects from the placebo arm of the Calcium for Preeclampsia Prevention Trial."The enormous sizes of these tools does require pause as to what these tools would have been used for," Braun said.Braun also would like to see additional confirmation for the dates assigned to the tools.The discovery, detailed in this week's issue of Nature, was made in 2011 during an excavation conducted by the West Turkana Archaeological Project in Kenya.