Near to the common ancestor

A recent article published in the scientific journal PLOS One, “Potential hominin affinities of Graecopithecus from the Late Miocene of Europe”, presents the provocative hypothesis that the earliest human ancestor evolved not in Africa, as all previous evidence indicates, but rather in southeastern Europe.

The article describes two fossil specimens, a mandible from Greece, originally discovered in 1944, and a single tooth from Bulgaria found in 2009, which are both assigned to the genus Graecopithecus. The authors propose that these remains, dating to roughly 7.175 and 7.24 million years ago (mya), respectively, represent a very early hominin species (humans and their non-ape ancestors) that existed shortly after the evolutionary split in the common ancestor of both modern apes and humans. No fossils purported to be from this close to the ape/human divergence have previously been reported.

— source


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