A 13-million years older baby ape’s skull has been uncovered at northern Kenya by a team led by Dr. Isaiah Nengo. This is announced in journal Nature on august 10, 2017. The skull is so well preserved that researchers could estimate that the creature died at about 16 months of age.This fossil is the most complete extinct ape skull known in the fossil records ever.
More than 13-million years ago an Infant dead in lush forest. Its body was blanketed in ashfall from a nearby volcanic eruption. This made the fossil to be survived for millions of years with perfectly preserving the skull, even down to the tiny ear canals deep inside its cranium.
This new specimen has been labeled as Nyanzapithecus Alesi, with its species name taken from the Turkana word for ancestor – ‘ales.’ The size of Alesi is only about a lemon, as it was just 16 months old when it died.
A scanning campaign called 3D X-ray imaging was used to reveal the details of the skull. Its brain cavity, inner ears isolated teeth and broken jaw fragments showed that Alesi died in age of one year and few months.
According to the researchers, Alesi belonged to a family that probably lived in Africa for more than 10 million years. The Kenyan fossil hunter John Ekusi found Alesi’s skull in ancient rock layers in the Napudet area, west of Lake Turkana.
After diverging from old world monkeys’ ancestors between 25 and 28 million years ago, apes diversified near the middle of the Miocene epoch. Modern great apes and humans are the descendants of one of these Miocene ape lineages.
According to the team of scientists, this baby ape’s skull could be one of the earliest ancestors of all living humans. This could be the biggest impact on ape evaluation.