17 Million Year Old Fossil Gives Clues On Human Evolution

March 17, 2015 6:26 PM

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The whale, known as Ziphiidae, lived at a time when the East African plateau was covered by dense forests, and was significantly lower than it is right now. The timing of the uplift has long puzzled scientists, because research into a rediscovered fossil suggests that it stopped moisture from the Indian Ocean from reaching the vegetation, and the area became a savannah, writes Laura Geggel for Discovery.

One theory is that our now extinct ancestors may have lived in trees in East Africa, but then gradually started walking on two feet after the area turned into grassland. The whale fossil helps researchers get a closer estimate of the timing of the uplift, which a new study claims occurred between 17...

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