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Ardipithecus fossils found in late Miocene and early Pliocene deposits in the Afar region of Ethiopia, along with Sahelanthropus tchadensis from Chad and Orrorin tugenensis from Kenya, are among the earliest known human ancestors and are considered to be the predecessors to the subsequent australopithecines (Australopithecus anamensis and Australopithecus afarensis). Current paleoenvironmental reconstructions suggest a wooded habitat for both Ardipithecus kadabba and Ardipithecus ramidus but more open and varied environments for other hominids living in Africa during the late Miocene and early Pliocene. To further evaluate the environmental context of Ardipithecus, we present stable carbon isotope data...

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