Ancient great ape fossil found in Africa

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

Citation: Ancient great ape fossil found in Africa (2007, August 24) retrieved 17 May 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2007-08-ancient-great-ape-fossil-africa.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

NASA's Perseverance rover deciphers ancient history of Martian lake

0 shares

Feedback to editors