By Maina Kiarie
Australopithecus garhi is likely an ancestor of the genus Homo to which we all belong. Because Australopithecus bones were often found alongside animal bones, it was once considered a ‘killer ape.’ However, it turns out that they were somtimes killed and eaten by predators as no stone tools have been found that can be associated with them. The animal bones were left behind by predators such as lions, leopards and hyenas which also ate Au. garhi individuals too.
Studies of their spinal vertebrae which is curved like that of a human (to absorb shock when walking) showed that they walked upright.
Analysis of their teeth indicate that they ate tough foods as well as softer fruits and plants.
Is Au. garhi a descendant of Au. afarensis from Eastern Africa? Scientists are yet to answer this and many other questions.