Friday, August 24, 2007

More hominid remains have been found that seem to push the ape-human split back even further. As Yohannes Haile-Selassie says:

The most startling implication of the find, the scientists agree, is that our human progenitors diverged from today's great apes -- including gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees -- several million years earlier than widely accepted research based on molecular genetics had previously asserted.

Another interesting point the article notes:

"We know nothing about how the human line actually emerged from apes," the authors of the paper noted.

But the new fossils, dubbed Chororapithecus abyssinicus by the team of Japanese and Ethiopian paleoanthropologists who found them, place the early ancestors of the modern day gorilla 10 to 10.5 million years in the past, suggesting that the human-ape split occurred before that.

That's one of the things I love about this field. Nothing is ever set in stone.

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