Ancient Whale Skull Helps Place Humanity's First Steps

March 17, 2015 1:32 PM

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Ancient Whale Skull Helps Place Humanity's First Steps

A 17-million-year-old beaked whale fossil is helping researchers solve a puzzle about the likely birthplace of humanity in East Africa, a new study finds.

The whale (Ziphiidae) lived when the East African plateau was substantially lower and covered by dense forests, the researchers said. Scientists have long tried to figure out when the uplift occurred, because when it did, the moisture from the Indian Ocean could no longer reach the trees and vegetat...

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