Fossil toe bone makes news - Ardipithecus Raminus kaddaba

When you consider the 206 bones in your body, a humble toe bone does not seem that significant. But in July 2001, Time Magazine ran a cover story where a single toe bone was the star attraction.

The article featured a recent fossil discovery from Ethiopia, which allegedly showed how mankind's ape-like ancestors first stood up on two legs.

Readers were told 'Meet your newfound ancestor, a chimp-like forest creature that stood up and walked 5.8 million years ago'.

Remarkably, however, they based their claim that this creature walked upright, and was supposedly our ancestor, on the shape of a single toe bone. What's more, they found the toe bone over 16 km from the rest of the fossil material used in the reconstruction.

The article was titled 'One Giant Step for Mankind'. But maybe it should've been 'One Giant Leap in Speculation'.

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