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Europe, not Africa, might have spawned the first members of the human evolutionary family around 7 million years ago, researchers say. Tooth characteristics of a chimpanzee-sized primate that once lived in southeastern Europe suggest that the primate, known as Graecopithecus, may have been a hominid, not an ape as many researchers assume. One tooth in particular, the second lower premolar, is telling. It features two partially fused roots, a trait characteristic of early hominids but not ancient apes, a team led by geoscientist Jochen Fuss of the University of Tübingen in Germany reports May 22 in PLOS ONE. Scientists suspect the first hominids appeared sometime between 8 million and 6 million years ago. New age estimates for previously discovered fossils position Graecopithecus as potentially the earliest known hominid, the investigators suggest. A Graecopithecus lower jaw, found in Athens with most teeth still in their sockets, dates to around 7.175 million years ago, a group led by Tübingen geoscientist Madelaine Böhme reports May 22 in a separate paper in PLOS ONE. An isolated Graecopithecus tooth from Bulgaria, an upper second premolar, dates to approximately 7.24 million years ago, the scientists say.
Rooted out This reconstruction of a right second premolar tooth, shown from two angles, is based on CT scans of a Graecopithecus jaw. Missing bottom parts of roots, in blue, were estimated by aligning mirror images of the roots of a better-preserved left second premolar tooth. Partial fusing of the two roots near where they split supports classifying Graecopithecus as an early hominid, researchers contend.
Armed with only jaw and tooth fossils, the investigators don’t have a slam-dunk case for pegging Graecopithecus as a hominid. Although sediment analyses date both finds to around the time of hominid origins, it’s not known whether this creature regularly walked upright, a signature hominid behavior.
originally posted by: moebius
a reply to: Raggedyman
LMAO. Funny how you make the jump from assumptions to faith. To make science you have to make assumptions. But you then have to test them. Depending on the test outcome you either modify your assumptions or throw them away. What faith or religion does that?
Depending on the test outcome you either modify your assumptions or throw them away.