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Ardipithecus is a genus of an extinct hominine that lived during Late Miocene and Early Pliocene in Afar Depression, Ethiopia. Originally described as one of the earliest ancestors of humans after they diverged from the main ape lineage, the relation of this genus to human ancestors and whether it is a hominin is now a matter of debate. Two fossil species are described in the literature: A. ramidus, which lived about 4.4 million years ago during the early Pliocene, and A. kadabba, dated to approximately 5.6 million years ago (late Miocene). Behavioral analysis showed that Ardipithecus could be very similar to chimpanzees, indicating that the early human ancestors were very chimpanzee-like in behaviour.
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