David Begun’s Reanalysis of Ape Fossils Puts the Origin of Humanity at 10 Million Years Ago

Ape fossils put the origin of humanity at 10 million years ago
Dryopithecus lived about 12.5 million years ago (Image: E. R. Degginger/SPL)

Prof. David Begun has reanalyzed fossils of Dryopithecus apes, which lived 12.5 million years ago, and has found the characteristics of the skull suggest the Dryopithecus was actually a great ape itself rather than evolving earlier than the great apes as previously believed. If Dryopithecus is in fact a gorilla, that puts the species closer to humans and chimps, pushing back the time when humans split from chimps by about 2 million years. Prof. Begun will present on this groundbreaking research at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Dallas, Texas later this month. Learn more in the New Scientist article by Jeff Hecht here.