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Controversial footprints suggest we evolved in Europe not Africa

Controversial footprints suggest we evolved in Europe not Africa

New Scientist

Image:  zbigphotography

A set of ancient footprints has been found on a Greek island. They are extremely old – 5.7 million years – yet they seem to have been made by one of our hominin ancestors.

At that time, hominins are thought to have been confined to Africa. The discovery supports the controversial suggestion that they may also have been living in eastern Europe.

The earliest stages of hominin evolution are still mysterious. Our lineage split from chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, between 7 and 13 million years ago. The oldest undoubted hominin fossils were found in east Africa and date back about 4 million years – but there are a few older, possible hominin fossils from 6 to 7 million years ago. These include Orrorin from Kenya, and Sahelanthropus from Chad – locations that are roughly 2500 kilometres apart. Read more on newscientist.com…