Our ancestors may have evolved in Europe, not Africa, study claims

Our ancestors may have evolved in Europe, not Africa, study claims

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A controversial new study based on an 8.7-million-year-old skull could serve to rewrite the history books. For years, it was believed that the early ancestors of modern humans originated exclusively in Africa before migrating to Europe, but now the discovery of a fossil skull in Turkey has the potential to turn this idea completely on its head.The specimen – a well-preserved partial cranium belonging to a species named Anadoluvius turkae – dates back 8.7 million years and was found in the Corakyerler fossil locality near Cankiri, Turkey.

The species weighed as little as 110 pounds and lived mostly on the forest floor.

Most significantly, researchers now believe that Anadoluvius, along with other apes from neighboring regions, may have originated in Europe rather than migrating from Africa. “With its more comprehensive data, the research provides evidence that these other apes were also hominines and means that it is more likely that the whole group evolved and diversified in Europe, rather than the alternative scenario in which separate branches of apes earlier moved independently into Europe from Africa over the course of several million years and then went extinct without issue,” the researchers wrote.

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So could this mean that we will need to rewrite the book on human history ?

“These findings contradict the long-held view that African apes and humans evolved exclusively in Africa,” said Professor David Begun of the University of Toronto.

“While the remains of early hominines are abundant in Europe and Anatolia, they were completely absent from Africa until the first hominin appeared there about seven million years ago.”

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