An early ape shows its hand

Aug 08, 2007

Fossils often have provided important insights into the evolution of humans and our ancestors. Even small fossils, such as bones from the hand or foot can tell us much about our ancestor’s and their behavior. Such may be the case with an ape that lived more than nine million years ago.

A study published in the latest journal issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences reports on the structure of the hand of Hispanopithecus, a critically important fossil from an ape that lived during the late Miocene of Spain.

While the authors ponder that the fossil may be from a direct ancestor of living great apes (especially the orangutan), Dr. C. Owen Lovejoy, Kent State University Professor of Anthropology, suggests another possibility in his comment on the article published in the same issue.

A preeminent biological anthropologist in the study of human origins, Lovejoy suggests that the fossil may belong to an extinct ape with its own unique locomotor behavior—a special adaptation and unique form of locomtion that left no modern descendants.

Source: Kent State University

Explore further: Mysteries of 'molecular machines' revealed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Oldest engraving rewrites view of human history

Dec 03, 2014

Anthropologists on Wednesday said they had found the earliest engraving in human history on a fossilised mollusc shell some 500,000 years old, unearthed in colonial-era Indonesia.

Asian monsoon much older than previously thought

Sep 14, 2014

The Asian monsoon already existed 40 million years ago during a period of high atmospheric carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures, reports an international research team led by a University of Arizona geoscientist.

Life on Earth still favours evolution over creationism

Sep 11, 2014

Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution, first published in 1859, offered a bold new explanation for how animals and plants diversified and still serves as the foundation underpinning all medical and biological ...

Bigfoot hair samples mostly from bears, wolves

Jul 02, 2014

For those who believe in the yeti, the news can only be described as, well, abominable. Science has cast its methodical eye on samples of hair reputed to have been left by the Himalayan snowman of legend... ...

Recommended for you

Devising a way to count proteins as they group

5 hours ago

A new study from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and University of California Berkeley researchers reports on an innovative theoretical methodology to solve "the counting problem," which is key to understanding ...

User comments : 0

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.