Most scientists today believe that our humanity separated from apes prior to around seven million years in central Africa, where the hominids in a span of next five million years went into an adventure across the globe .
Following recent surprising research by University of Toronto, scientists tend to believe that human ancestors actually lived in present-day Balkans. In studies published in the New Scientist magazine they cited a study of the found Bulgarian and Greek fossils. According to these studies, the most mysterious of ancient European apes actually was a human ancestor – hominin.
Bulgarian scientists have discovered a tooth of an ape which is old seven million years. According to scientific knowledge, Europe before 12 million years ago was a paradise for apes. However, they began to disappear about ten million years ago when that part of the world dramatically changed its climatic conditions.
“Two apelike creature fossils with teeth like a human were found in Bulgaria and Greece, and their age is set at 7.2 million years” according to the British Telegraph
After that, apes mostly remained confined to Africa, where they were distributed to several species such as gorillas, chimpanzees and humans.
In 2012, Nikolaj Spasov head of the National Natural History Museum in Sofia, and his colleagues have discovered a tooth of an ape and claimed it to be the youngest fossil of its kind ever found in Europe.
“This study changes the idea about time and place in which they made the first human steps” says Professor Nikolay Spasov, a member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Chimpanzees are considered the closest human relatives. Scientists claim that these apes and humans separated before 5-7,000,000 years, after which the first early humans evolved in Africa.
But, according to new research experts from Germany, Bulgaria, Greece and Canada, this kind of separation took place in the east of the Mediterranean, not Africa.
The findings are described in study published in PLOS ONE titled “Messinian age and savannah environment of the possible hominin Graecopithecus from Europe.”
“The food grekopitekus ate is more associated with vegetation of dry savanna, unlike today’s great apes that live in the forests. That is why, like a man, grekopitekus had broad molars and thick tooth. This is, to some extent, the discovery of a missing link in evolution chain” says Spasov.
Bulgarian scientists, as well as their German and Canadian colleagues believe that a tooth found in Bulgaria belongs apes / Graecopithecus Freuberghi /, who continued to live in Europe for a long time after the other apes have disappeared from the continent.
“El Grekov face will probably look like a big ape with short fangs” adds Spasov.
They believe that the ape was – hominin. This type of apes scientists believe was the most mysterious of all European apes, besides of this one, not much is left of their fossil remains.