Research News

Miocene Primates Go Ape

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Science  18 Apr 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5311, pp. 355
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5311.355b

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Between 5 million and 23 million years ago during the Miocene, 30 different kinds of apes roamed Eurasia and Africa, but only one lineage survived to give rise to modern apes and humans. With only fragmentary fossils available, researchers haven't known which one. Now new fossils of two African apes are vying for prime spots on the ancestral ape family tree; One, Morotopithecus, is described on page 401, while another, Kenyapithecus, was presented at this month's meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in St. Louis.