READING REPORT

Student’s Name : Karen Alexandra Vásquez Vivas

Teacher’s Name : Fabbiola Marissol Romero Toledo

Dictionary Used : Cambridge Dictionary of American English

Course : Intermediate 3 Time : 2010, March 15th

The Human Family’s Earliest Ancestors
Summary (150 to 300 words)

Tim White is a paleoanthropologist of the University of California and the leading of the
Middle Awash project, which consists of 70 scientists. They are doing excavations in the Afar
desert of Ethiopia in order to find and study hominid fossils. To do this, every day they have to
lead with armed Alisera tribesmen, drought, poisonous animals and contaminated food and
water. They have found specimens of seven different hominid species. The Middle Awash is too
where have been found many fossils of hominids, some of them are six million years old.
In 1994, they found the skeleton of a female who lived 4.4 million years ago. They called
her Ardi, short of Ardipithecus ramidus, that’s the species to which Ardi belongs. Her skeleton
is the most complete of early hominids fossils. It has found almost parts of her skull and teeth,
pelvis, hands, legs and feet. Her bones were so brittle. Also, it has been found other fossils of
that specie.
So the team proposed in the journal Nature in 1994 that the fossils belonged to a new
species of earliest hominid. The idea that it was a member of the human family (a hominid) was
based primarily on its teeth. The problem is that a hominid is defined by upright walking.
Because of this, not everyone was convinced she was a hominid because her pelvis was crushed
and this is the most important part to know if she walked upright. She could be an extinct ape
with some degree of upright walking.
Despite of that, this important discovery is helping to change ideas about the appearance
and environment of our ancestors. Researched long assumed early hominids were like
chimpanzees. They had a surprise because Ardis’s not like a chimpanzee.
This past October in the journal Science, scientist wrote about Ardi. In some words, they
said that she didn’t walk like us, she had an opposable big toe (good for climbing trees), she
spent a lot of time in the trees to escape predator, pick fruit or sleep, she was adapted to live in
the trees and on the ground, she lived in woodlands and was cooperative.
A major consequence of these studies is that she allowed advancing fundamental question
about human evolution, such how we can identify the earliest members of human family tree.

Personal Opinion (Min. 50 words for 150-word summaries | Min. 100 words for
300-word summaries)

It was difficult for me to read about this, because I have read very few about Ardipithecus
and Australopithecus, but this reading got me started on latest studies about how humans
evolved. I’ve read more about this topic after to read this article. Now I have a better idea about
what’s a hominid. I liked to read about this.

This format March08 | Revised May08

especially because you are worried in the Afar desert of Ethiopia. the fact that Ardi was a hominid is not fully proven and this is a reason why I believe that studies on these issues still have much to do and science and technology will help researches to do this. “… as eager to start their search as eager Having or showing desire or interest. knee and pelvis upright showed that she walked upright Vertical and as straight as possible. often because you are pace and forth…” worried or waiting for something to happen. likes us.” For Teacher’s Use Contents of Contents of Language & New Summary Opinion Expressions in Context Total: ______ / 100 Teacher’s Feedback: This format March08 | Revised May08 .” “But her ankle.” “Her bones were so brittle that they brittle Delicate and easily broken. To walk in one direction and then in the “A few of them are pacing back opposite direction. Quote from the text where Expression Meaning in this particular context expression was used “Tim White is standing with a Moving around because you are unable to restless group of restless men atop a ridge relax. crumbled when touched. Ardi’s is one of the most revealing fossil but interestingly.” or bored. NEW EXPRESSIONS IN CONTEXT (At least 5 – Make sure they are really relevant expressions – No additional points will be given for longer lists). children at an Easter egg hunt.