origin of humans; a new ape ancestor (Origins)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, August 23, 2023, 17:59 (242 days ago) @ David Turell

Found in Turkey:


"Fossil apes from the eastern Mediterranean are central to the debate on African ape and human (hominine) origins. Current research places them either as hominines, as hominins (humans and our fossil relatives) or as stem hominids, no more closely related to hominines than to pongines (orangutans and their fossil relatives). Here we show, based on our analysis of a newly identified genus, Anadoluvius, from the 8.7 Ma site of Çorakyerler in central Anatolia, that Mediterranean fossil apes are diverse, and are part of the first known radiation of early members of the hominines. The members of this radiation are currently only identified in Europe and Anatolia; generally accepted hominins are only found in Africa from the late Miocene until the Pleistocene. Hominines may have originated in Eurasia during the late Miocene, or they may have dispersed into Eurasia from an unknown African ancestor. The diversity of hominines in Eurasia suggests an in situ origin but does not exclude a dispersal hypothesis.

"The origin of the hominines is among the most hotly debated topics in paleoanthropology. The traditional view, ever since Darwin, holds that hominines and hominins originate in Africa, where the earliest hominins are found and where all extant non-human hominines live. More recently a European origin has been proposed, based on the phylogenetic analysis of late Miocene apes from Europe and Central Anatolia1. The fossils described here attest to a lengthy history of hominines in Europe, with multiple taxa in the eastern Mediterranean known for at least. Our phylogenetic analysis, based on the new specimens described here and a large sample of other fossil and extant hominoids, Our most parsimonious phylogenetic results suggest that hominines in the eastern Mediterranean evolved from dryopithecins in central and western Europe, though there are alternative interpretations. Either way, the oldest known hominines are European. They may have dispersed into Europe from ancestors in Africa, only to become extinct. However, the more likely and more parsimonious interpretation is that hominines evolved over a lengthy period in Europe and dispersed into Africa before 7 Ma.


"...the sample of ape fossils from Çorakyerler demonstrates that great ape diversity in the eastern Mediterranean is greater than previously believed and that hominines had diversified into multiple taxa long before their first documented appearance in Africa."

Comment: what is of interest is that apes, prior to hominin appearance were all over Europe and may not have been in Africa, not as I previously thought.

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