Standing tall: Scientists find oldest example of upright ape

November 06, 2019 - 1:01 pm

BERLIN (AP) — Scientists say they have found the remains of a previously unknown ancient ape that could stand upright almost 12 million years ago, suggesting that humans' ancestors may have walked on two legs much earlier than previously thought.

Researchers from Europe, North America and Australia say the fossilized partial skeleton of a male ape discovered in Bavaria is astonishingly similar to modern human bones.

In a paper published Wednesday by the journal Nature, the scientists concluded that the extinct species — named Danuvius guggenmosi — could walk on two legs but also climb like an ape.

Madelaine Boehme of the University of Tuebingen, one of the paper's authors, said the findings push back the oldest known examples of bipedalism, which were previously found in Crete and Kenya and dated to about 6 million years ago.

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