Ancient infant ape skull sheds light on the ancestor of all humans and living apes
By Michael Price
Aug. 9, 2017, 1:00 PM
Anthropologists have waited decades to find the complete cranium of a Miocene ape from Africa—one that lived in the hazy period before the human lineage split off from the common ancestors we share with chimpanzees some 7 million years ago. Now, scientists in Kenya have found their prize at last: an almost perfectly preserved skull roughly the size of a baseball. The catch? It’s from an infant. That means that although it can give scientists a rough idea of what the common ancestor to all living apes and humans would have looked like, drawing other meaningful conclusions could be challenging.
“This is the sort of thing that the fossil record loves to do to us,” says James Rossie, a biological anthropologist at the State…
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