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New branch of primitive humans reported

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NEW YORK, March 5 (UPI) -- International researchers have added another species to the growing family tree of human evolution, the New York Times reported Friday.

The scientists say a primitive hominid species lived in what is now Ethiopia about 5.5 million to 5.8 million years ago based on teeth found in the Middle Awash valley about 180 miles northeast of Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

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Paleoanthropologists tentatively identified it as a more apelike subspecies they named Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba.

The authors of the report are Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Dr. Gen Suwa of the University of Tokyo and Dr. Tim White of the University of California, Berkeley.

As in many such finds, there is already scientific disagreement the teeth do in fact represent a new species, or rather a sub-species, the newspaper said.

The full report appears in the Friday edition of the journal Science.

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