#41

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Infant skull shows a glimpse of our distant ancestor.

By Mark Barna|Thursday, February 01, 2018
RELATED TAGS: ARCHAEOLOGY
7_Alesi-34view_black
7_Alesi-34view_black
Fred Spoor

A 13 million-year-old skull from Kenya, described in August in Nature, hints at what a common ancestor of all living apes (including humans) looked like. The fossil, from an infant, is the lineage’s most complete skull between 7 million and 17 million years old. The animal had a short snout, similar to that of a gibbon but unlike other apes. Anthropologist and lead author Isaiah Nengo says the fossil offers the best glimpse yet of our distant ancestor: “We now have a face.”

6_Alesi-partially-cleaned
6_Alesi-partially-cleaned
The palm-sized infant skull is a link to our distant primate past.
Isaiah Nengo, Photo by Christopher Kiarie
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