Strange fossilized ape skull found in China

Strange fossilized ape skull found in China

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A team of researchers from various organizations including the State of Penn, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Arizona State University, The Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, and the Yunnan Archaeological Institute of Cultural Relics, have announced the discovery of askull belonging to a fossilized ape from Shuitangba, a Miocene site in Yunnan province, China.

This skull specifically belongs to a Lufengpithecus fossilized ape and is an extraordinary find because it belongs to a young specimen. In fact it is the second almost complete Miocene skull (23 to 5 million years ago) recovered. These skeletal remains date back to the Miocene era, more than 6 million years ago, when the apes had become extinct in most of Eurasia. Yunnan has also contributed remains of fossilized monkeys, Mesopiteco, which corresponds to the oldest of its kind found in East Asia.

The fossils found at Shuitangba are highly relevant to the history of the earth as they show a crucial transition from one period to another.”Said Nina Jablonski, author and professor of Anthropology at Penn State.

According to experts, the skull is in excellent condition, unlike the Lufengpiteco skulls, which were damaged by the fossilization process. According to expert Jay Kelley, from the Institute of Human Origins and the College of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University, the skull of today's apes presents similar characteristics to those found recently. "Por that, the remains found offer anatomical data of that species like where and when they lived. It is also considered very close to the lineage of the extinct orangutan”, He stated.

However, these remains of the young ape have a difference from that of the orangutans, with which the researchers think that it is the last Eurasian ape lineage to surprisingly survive climate change in the late Miocene period. Through more excavations, experts hope to find more clues about the relationship between these families of mammals.

In addition to the ape, hundreds of specimens of other animals and plants have been found, added co-author Denise Su, Curator of Paleobotany and Paleoecology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. This expert hopes to return to the province next year.

Via CN News

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