View Full Version : New 13-million-year-old infant skull sheds light on ape ancestry

08-09-2017, 07:25 PM
New 13-million-year-old infant skull sheds light on ape ancestry

"The discovery in Kenya of a remarkably complete fossil ape skull reveals what the common ancestor of all living apes and humans may have looked like. The find, announced in the scientific journal Nature on August 10th, belongs to an infant that lived about 13 million years ago. The research was done by an international team led by Isaiah Nengo of Stony Brook University-affiliated Turkana Basin Institute and De Anza College, U.S.A."

New infant cranium from the African Miocene sheds light on ape evolution
"The evolutionary history of extant hominoids (humans and apes) remains poorly understood. The African fossil record during the crucial time period, the Miocene epoch, largely comprises isolated jaws and teeth, and little is known about ape cranial evolution. Here we report on the, to our knowledge, most complete fossil ape cranium yet described, recovered from the 13 million-year-old Middle Miocene site of Napudet, Kenya. The infant specimen, KNM-NP 59050, is assigned to a new species of Nyanzapithecus on the basis of its unerupted permanent teeth, visualized by synchrotron imaging. Its ear canal has a fully ossified tubular ectotympanic, a derived feature linking the species with crown catarrhines. Although it resembles some hylobatids in aspects of its morphology and dental development, it possesses no definitive hylobatid synapomorphies. The combined evidence suggests that nyanzapithecines were stem hominoids close to the origin of extant apes, and that hylobatid-like facial features evolved multiple times during catarrhine"

08-09-2017, 08:40 PM
I find this hard to believe on account of the known human infant skull changes so drastically in the first 5 years of life.

Paul Shunamon
08-10-2017, 10:42 PM
I find the association of this find with "early Human lineage" a gross hypothesis based assumption used to interpret the data as opposed to simply letting the data speak (the data: We found a very ancient infant ape skull...that's really all. There is nothing in such a find that suggests it is an ancestor of humans...(other than paradigm oriented conjecture)