• Question: What the name of the animal that great apes evolved from?

    Asked by johnnyxmas18 to Hannah, Ceri-Wyn, Anthony on 7 Jan 2019.
    • Photo: Anthony Redmond

      Anthony Redmond answered on 7 Jan 2019: last edited 7 Jan 2019 3:59 pm


      The most recent common ancestor of great apes isn’t known. That’s because it would have lived just over 10 million years ago, and showing beyond doubt that a fossil is from a directly ancestral species, rather than another extinct species closely related to the true ancestor, is very difficult. Off the top of my head one could use a terminology like ‘urhominid’ (original great ape) to describe this ancestral individual/species, though I don’t actually know if this or any term is typically used in scientific literature.
      Beyond the name of our ‘urhominid’, many fossils have been associated with the early evolution of great apes. Here’s a link to an article about a recently discovered ancestor or close relative to great apes ( https://www.livescience.com/60093-last-common-ancestor-of-apes-humans-revealed.html ).

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