September 29, 2023

Brighton Journal

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The skull of ancient ape ancestors suggests that humans originated from Europe, not Africa

The skull of ancient ape ancestors suggests that humans originated from Europe, not Africa

Representative image

(Khunchai / Nizar 12 / 1971 yes / via Canva)

We came, we saw, millions of years of evolution, tool making and later discovery of fire, we finally prevailed. Although the end result is undoubtedly clear, the journey of our ancestors remains a much-discussed topic, and one that is reviewed regularly as scientists discover more fossils that our human ancestors left behind.

Despite all this backsliding, one of the more deeply held beliefs is the fact that our ancestors originated from Africa and eventually moved to other continents for a variety of reasons. However, a new discovery has challenged even this notion.

In 2015, scientists discovered an extremely well-preserved fossil of a partial skull in modern-day Turkey. Subsequent analysis showed that this was no ordinary monkey, and it was later named a Turkish Anatolia.

Anatolovius was huge – about the size of a female gorilla weighing 80 kilograms – and inhabited open spaces similar to the environment surrounding early African humans. During its time on the planet, Andoluvius likely lived alongside rhinos, giraffes, zebras, elephants, and even lion-like carnivores, feeding on hard, tough food items like roots and roots using its large, densely coated teeth.

But here it gets interesting. Anatolyphus and other fossil apes from neighboring Greece comprise a group that is strikingly similar, anatomically and ecologically, to the oldest known human species, or hominins.

The fact that the 8.7-million-year-old Korakierler fossil site in Turkey is so old helps add significant weight to the idea that the ancestors of humans and many African apes may have first evolved in Europe, before eventually and gradually migrating to Africa due to climate. and other factors.

“Our findings also indicate that hominins not only evolved in western and central Europe, but spent more than five million years evolving there and spreading to the eastern Mediterranean before eventually spreading to Africa, possibly as a result of changing environments.” and deforestation,” Begin explains. , author of the study. “Members of this radiate to which Andolophius belongs are currently only identified in Europe and Anatolia.”

This study also sheds light on the origins of many other known monkeys with whom we share the Earth today, including some that are thought to have originated from Africa. This has helped Turkish Anatolia It has established itself as a branch of the evolutionary tree that gave birth to chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and even many Balkan and Anatolian monkeys.

The authors also contend that the entire group may have evolved and diversified in Europe itself, which contradicts the long-held belief that separate branches of apes moved independently to Europe from Africa, before eventually becoming extinct.

As Begin notes, while the remains of early hominins are plentiful in Europe and Anatolia, they are completely absent from Africa until the first hominins appeared there about seven million years ago. Thus, the study authors concluded, these findings contrast dramatically with the earlier findings that African primates and humans evolved exclusively in Africa.

The results of this research have been published in Communications Biology and are accessible here.


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