First human ancestors came from Europe, not Africa

A new study claims that the split of the common lineage of great apes and humans probably occurred in Europe and not in Africa. The bold hypothesis is based on an analysis of 7.2-million-year-old fossil remains.As of now, it was widely believed that the human lineage split from that of apes some 7 million years ago in Africa.According to the new study, the common lineage of great apes and humans split several hundred thousand years earlier than assumed until now.The researchers did little to back up the claim that a “fairly isolated place in southern Europe” could have been home to an ancestor of the African hominin.Speaking to The Washington Post, anthropologist Susan C. Antón echoed Potts’ skepticism. The long line of later hominins found in Africa suggests “an African origin,” Antón, who teaches at New York University, said. Jay Kelley, a paleontologist at Arizona State University’s Institute of Human Origins, also questioned the researchers’ conclusion that the fused premolar roots strongly indicate a connection to hominins. Fused tooth roots are not a constant feature across different hominin fossils, he told The Washington Post. The team behind the new research included scientists from Germany, Bulgaria, Greece, Canada, France and Australia.

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