A new oldest human fossil has been found, and surprisingly it was in southern Europe – Greece and Bulgaria, not Africa. Here is the report from the great online science news resource, “Science Daily”:
This points to an interesting new idea about human origins.
It addressed an enduring and difficult question in human origins research – how and when did humans split from chimps (our nearest relative)?
These fossils of “Graecopithecus” are just over 7 million years old.
At this time, the “Messinian”, the Mediterranean sea dried out so that south Europe and Africa were continuous.
Also at this time, the earth was turning more arid and dry, and the Sahara was turning to desert.
The desertification of the Sahara could have split the ancestral humans from the ancestral chimps, to the north and south respectively of the growing Sahara.
Same old story with palaeoanthropology – every time they dig up something new, everything changes.