Meaning of dating

In contrast, Lucy’s skeleton is 40 percent complete and dates to about 3.2 mya.Lucy’s pelvis is more humanlike, and the design of her knee joint suggests that she walked upright in a manner similar to that of modern humans.

This early radiation (diversification) of hominins, of which the latest survivors lived as recently as about 1.5 mya, made for a rather motley assortment.It is difficult to say how the wide variety of early hominins were interrelated.Moreover, although these ancient forms were clearly members of the same larger group, discerning exactly how any of them may have been connected to later species is problematic because of incomplete fossil evidence or different interpretations of the same evidence.The molecular clock concept is based on an assumed regularity in the accumulation of tiny changes in the genetic codes of humans and other organisms.Use of this concept, together with a reanalysis of the fossil record, moved the estimated time of the evolutionary split between apes and human ancestors forward to as recently as about 5 mya.