I have to admit to being a big fan of Discovery Channel, they do produce some of the best documentaries. I had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at Sundays blockbuster Discovering Ardi.


Ardi is the nickname that researchers have given to a 4.3 million year old partial skeleton found in Ethiopia. Ardi predates the well known Lucy find by over a million years. The scientific community has been crying out for earlier hominid examples, and Ardi fits the bill.

Ardi is actually short for the Latin name given to this fossil record of our ancestors, Ardipithecus ramidus. Is Ardi the ‘missing link’, that much sought after key in solving the riddle of where mankind came from? Certainly Lucy was touted with that title for several years, but Lucy was far from being that illusive proof.

Ardi was actually discovered in 1993, it has taken 15 years of study and research to unlock the secrets of this very early Hominid. She does indeed answer many questions. Even though the skeleton is far from complete, the  researchers have learned a huge amount.

DISCOVERING ARDI is the result of a ten-year collaboration between the Middle Awash research project and Primary Pictures of Atlanta. Director Rod Paul and his team worked closely with the scientists to develop an unprecedented level of detail, accuracy and coverage of the discovery of Ardipithecus ramidus, much of it as it happened, on location in Ethiopia.

There are few projects that I can think of that a film company will stick with for 1 year, never mind 10 years. This is a two hour program, and I have to say that every minute teaches you something new. Discovering Ardi premiers on Sunday at 9pm PT/ET.

Simon Barrett

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