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9.7 million-year-old hominin teeth discovered

By T.K. Randall
October 20, 2017 · Comment icon 21 comments

Could mankind have arisen in Europe instead of Africa ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Brett Eloff
The surprising find has the potential to completely rewrite everything we know of early human history.
The fact that the fossil teeth, which are thought to have belonged to a single individual, date back an incredible 9.7 million years is groundbreaking enough, but what really makes this discovery particularly significant is the fact that they were found, not in Africa, but on the bed of the Rhine river in Germany.

Scientists believe that the teeth closely resemble those of Australopithecus afarensis and Ardipithecus ramidus - two ancient hominin species previously discovered in Ethiopia.

The ancestors of modern humans however are not thought to have left Africa until around two million years ago - so how did these 9.7 million-year-old fossil teeth end up in Germany ?
"This is a tremendous stroke of luck, but also a great mystery," said lead researcher Herbert Lutz.

"They are clearly ape teeth. Their characteristics resemble African finds that are four to five million years younger than the fossils excavated in Eppelsheim."

The search for answers continues.

Source: | Comments (21)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Carnoferox 7 years ago
You'd be surprised to learn then that soft tissues can survive for 500 million years via carbonization.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Parsec 7 years ago
Well, we are almost in November 2017, doesn't that make more than one year from the find?    Regardless, I agree with you that they could have possibly invested more time in research before publishing.   On the other hand, that's why peer review exists.  If they have been careless with such a groundbreaking claim, I guess they will be torn apart.
Comment icon #14 Posted by bison 7 years ago
The article linked below gives a good outline of what we believe we know about human and pre-human evolution: Scroll down to sections headed  'Hominidae' and 'Homo' for details.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Jon the frog 7 years ago
Damn our ancestor were travelling a lot !
Comment icon #16 Posted by Everdred 7 years ago
It's important with discoveries like these to look at scientific articles rather that sensationalist journalism. So, what is the paper actually arguing? Here's the abstract with certain parts highlighted: So basically, the authors are contending that one of the two teeth has some similarities with hominin teeth, and wonder if there may be a relation. That's it. No claims that these are hominins or that they're definitively related to hominins. Now, let's consider what we already know about human evolution. Hominins are defined by bipedalism--we can't classify remains as a hominin unless they s... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by oldrover 7 years ago
Yes, that's very true. 
Comment icon #18 Posted by bison 7 years ago
The scientific paper about the newly discovered teeth refers in two places to 'startling resemblances to African members of the hominin tribe' and 'perplexing resemblances' to that same group. The difficulty, of course, is their great age, much greater than than of the oldest supposed hominids.  The group of hominids is made up of modern and extinct humans, and species closely related to or ancestral to humans. These are the genera--homo, australopithecus, paranthropus, and ardipithecus. It just may turn out that the ancient course of the Rhine river will prove to be as  important to our u... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by DebDandelion 7 years ago
Thank u . I wanted just this overview. 
Comment icon #20 Posted by DebDandelion 7 years ago
Thanx. But i am not so interested in the matter.(topic) I was trying to wrap my brain around some of the content. Was looking for a broad layout to help me create a timeline. Received a link from another poster that helped with that
Comment icon #21 Posted by Parsec 7 years ago
There is an interesting (although disappointing) update:

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