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Previously, the oldest certain evidence for hominin bipedalism came from the 3.9-million–4.2-million-year-old Kenyan and Ethiopian fossils known as also shared distinctive hip biomechanics with the australopithecines that clearly distinguished their bipedalism from the structurally and functionally distinctive bipedalism characteristic of the genus An interdisciplinary team of Indian and American scientists discovered four tiny posterior teeth of the oldest-known Asian member of the Anthropoidea, the group that contains monkeys, apes, and humans.The fossil teeth, found in a lignite mine in Gujarat state in western India, were dated to about 54 million–55 million years ago by associated age-diagnostic marine-plankton fossils.The tomb of the Roman general Marcus Nonius Macrinus, a confidant of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (ruled AD 161–180), was found during construction work on the Via Flaminia on the east bank of Rome's Tiber River.Among the ruins of the 15-m (50-ft)-long column-lined mausoleum, a team led by archaeologist Daniela Rossi documented about one dozen biographical inscriptions that detailed the career of the Brescia-born general, who had served as a police commissioner and magistrate before playing a key role in the emperor's campaigns against the Germanic tribes of the North.The excavations were being conducted along a 6-m (19.5-ft)-high timber wall-and-ditch system built to the east of the Stonehenge core about 1,500–2,000 years after the well-known megaliths were erected (about 2,000 BC).The burial suggested that the site had continued to serve an important religious function later than previously believed.A team of human evolutionary geneticists extensively revised the standardized human Y-chromosome evolutionary tree, which was first published by the Y Chromosome Consortium in 2002.The new study, published in May 2008 in more than doubled both the number of genetic markers (599) and the number of resulting haplogroups (311) and led to four major structural changes in the tree.
Mitochondrial DNA had much higher levels of homoplasy owing to its frequent recurring mutations.
The estimated ages for 11 major clades in the Y-chromosome tree ranged from 68,900 to 18,500 years.
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