Scientists from Berkeley, Cleveland and Japan have announced findings in the latest issue of Science, which have led to a hominid sub-species being reclassified as hominid.

Six fossil teeth found in the Ethiopian desert have provided the evidence the researchers needed. The teeth are nearly 6 million years old and are the earliest canine teeth found in hominids.

"Ardipithecus kadabba may ... represent the first species on the human branch of the family tree just after the evolutionary split between lines leading to modern chimpanzees and humans," said Yohannes Haile-Selassie from the Cleveland Museum.