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The fossils have been tentatively classified as members of three distinct genera-- .

Sahelanthropus was the earliest, dating 7-6 million years ago.

Among them were our early human ancestors who started to make stone tools by this time.

This view was mostly rejected by the scientific world of the time.

Before the 1920's, knowledge of our fossil ancestors only went back to the Neandertals in Europe and some presumably earlier human-like forms from Java, in Southeast Asia.

The other line seems to have lived more in mixed grassland and woodland environments, like the earlier australopithecines, and was primarily vegetarian.

This second, more conservative line of early hominins died out by 1 million years ago or shortly before then.

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