Dating to 2.5 mya, A. garhi was discovered in the arid washes of Etheipia's Awash desert in April 1999. The most recent discovery in the field of human evolution has sparked many more questions than answers. Ineed, the name of this new hominid, Australopithecus garhi, means 'surprise' in the local Etheopian dialect, reflecting its status as an enigma in the field. A. garhi, with its large teeth and small brain, seems to straddle the line between the gracile and robust Austrolopithicine lineages, perhaps descending from A. afarensis and being an ancestor of early Homo. Bones of a number of large animals, such as antelope, were discovered near the fossils displaying evidence of cut marks from stone tools. While this evidence of butchery suggests an important shift in dietary habit and the first use of stone tools by hominids, no tools were found in direct association with the fossil finds. Future evidence will hopefully reveal more about this exciting, critical period of human evolution.
Unfortunately, due to the recentness of the discovery, conceptual drawings of A. garhi are not yet available to illustrate this page.