London: Remains of a new species of humans, which scientists have dated between 3.3 million and 3.5 million years old, were discovered in Afar state of Ethiopia, a media report said on Thursday.
The hominin walked the earth the same time as several other early human species, BBC reported, adding that human’s family tree seems to be more complex than was thought earlier.
Researcher discovered jaw bones and teeth belonging to four individuals, who would have had both ape and human-like features, the report added.
Lead researcher Yohannes Haile-Selassie, curator of physical anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in the US, said they found “major differences” while analysing the detailed anatomy and morphology of the remains.
“This new species has very robust jaws. In addition, we see this new species had smaller teeth. The canine is really small — smaller than all known hominins we have documented in the past,” he was quoted as saying.
Researchers believe the hominin was potentially among the four different species of early humans that were living side by side.
The most famous among them is Australopithecus afarensis, also known as Lucy, who lived between 2.9 and 3.8 million years ago.
The new species has been named Australopithecus deyiremeda, which means close relative in the local language spoken in Afar state.
The study was published in the journal Nature.