Ancient great ape fossil found in Africa

Aug 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: Earliest ancestor of land herbivores discovered

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Humans related to orangutans, not chimps

Jun 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 ...

Lucy and Selam's species climbed trees

Oct 25, 2012

Australopithecus afarensis (the species of the well-known "Lucy" skeleton) was an upright walking species, but the question of whether it also spent much of its time in trees has been the subject of much debate, partly becaus ...

Recommended for you

Clippers and coiners in 16th-century England

Apr 14, 2014

In 2017 a new £1 coin will appear in our pockets with a design extremely difficult to forge. In the mid-16th century, Elizabeth I's government came up with a series of measures to deter "divers evil persons" ...

User comments : 0

More news stories