Ancient great ape fossil found in Africa

August 24, 2007

Scientists in Africa say they've have a found the fossil teeth of an ancient great ape that extends the human family tree millions of years.

The new species of great ape was uncovered in the desert scrubland of Ethiopia, Britain's Daily Telegraph said Thursday.

The scientists said the fossil, which dates from around 10 million years ago, helps pin down the date when gorillas split from chimp-human stock -- at least 2 million years earlier than previously thought -- the newspaper said.

Gen Suwa of Tokyo University Museum said the molars "share key similarities" with those of a modern gorilla.

The report, published in the journal Science, said the teeth are those of a new species of fossil ape, dubbed Chororapithecus abyssinicus. It would be the earliest recognized primate directly related to gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Humans related to orangutans, not chimps

Related Stories

Humans related to orangutans, not chimps

June 18, 2009

New evidence underscores the theory of human origin that suggests humans most likely share a common ancestor with orangutans, according to research from the University of Pittsburgh and the Buffalo Museum of Science. Reporting ...

Big toe's big bone holds evolutionary key

March 13, 2015

Our skeletons hold tell-tale signs that show that human bipedalism – walking upright and on two feet – are unique to humans especially when compared to our closest living relatives, apes. Exactly when these signs first ...

Recommended for you

Fractals patterns in a drummer's music

August 28, 2015

Fractal patterns are profoundly human – at least in music. This is one of the findings of a team headed by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen and Harvard University ...

Just how good (or bad) is the fossil record of dinosaurs?

August 28, 2015

Everyone is excited by discoveries of new dinosaurs – or indeed any new fossil species. But a key question for palaeontologists is 'just how good is the fossil record?' Do we know fifty per cent of the species of dinosaurs ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.