Underworld Findings Revolutionize Human Evolution Theory

underworld findings revolutionize human evolution theory.jpg Science

In a groundbreaking new study, scientists have posited that our ape ancestors may have originated from Europe before migrating to Africa, effectively flipping the script on our understanding of human evolution. The pivotal find that led to this theory is a nine-million-year-old ape, Anadoluvius turkae, discovered in Turkey. The creature, roughly the size of a female gorilla, is believed to have lived on the ground in a dry forest setting, surrounded by animals we now associate with Africa such as giraffes, wart hogs, rhinos, and elephants.

This revelation challenges long-held beliefs about human evolution, suggesting that hominines – a group that includes African apes such as chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, humans, and their fossil ancestors – developed in Europe for around five million years before moving to Africa. The University of Toronto team who made the discovery believes that Anadoluvius, whose well-preserved skull was found near Çankırı in 2015, followed these animals from the eastern Mediterranean into Africa around eight million years ago. This intriguing theory presents a dramatic shift in our understanding of human evolution, painting a radically different picture of our ancestral journey.

European Origins of Ancestors of Humans and Apes: A New Perspective

In an intriguing new study, researchers have made a sensational claim that our ape ancestors might have originated in Europe before migrating to Africa, contradicting the widely accepted theory that mankind and ape evolution were Africa-centric.

The Path Less Traveled: From Europe to Africa

The research revolves around the discovery of a new ape, Anadoluvius turkae, from nearly nine million years ago in Turkey. The ape, approximately the size of a female gorilla, is believed to have lived in a dry forest setting, cohabiting with animals that are now typically associated with Africa, such as giraffes, rhinos, and zebras. Scientists propose that Anadoluvius followed these animals from the eastern Mediterranean into Africa some time after about eight million years ago.

The University of Toronto study team led by Professor David Begun, examined a well-preserved skull of Anadoluvius recovered from the Çorakyerler fossil locality near Çankırı in 2015. The fossil’s completeness allowed the team to undertake a comprehensive analysis, revealing many previously unknown features.

Reframing the Evolutionary Narrative

The findings from this study suggest that hominines, the group that includes African apes such as chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, humans, and their fossil ancestors, not only evolved in western and central Europe but spent over five million years evolving there and spreading to the eastern Mediterranean before eventually dispersing into Africa.

Anadoluvius and other fossil apes from nearby Greece and Bulgaria form a group that come closest in many details of anatomy and ecology to the earliest known hominins, or humans. The new fossils provide the strongest evidence to date that this group originated in Europe and later dispersed into Africa, contrasting with the long-held view that African apes and humans evolved exclusively in Africa.

A European Origin Hypothesis

The study also indicates that the Balkan and Anatolian apes evolved from ancestors in western and central Europe, providing evidence that these other apes were also hominines. This supports the likelihood that the whole group evolved and diversified in Europe, contradicting the alternative scenario where separate branches of apes moved independently into Europe from Africa over several million years, and then went extinct without issue.

Professor Begun asserts, “There is no evidence of the latter, though it remains a favorite proposal among those who do not accept a European origin hypothesis.”

A Definitive Connection Yet to be Established

While the new findings offer a fresh perspective on the origins and evolutionary journey of hominines, the researchers emphasize the need for more fossils from Europe and Africa between eight and seven million years old to establish a definitive connection between the two groups.


This study has opened up a new chapter in evolutionary studies, providing compelling evidence for a European origin of our ape ancestors. While it challenges the long-held belief of an Africa-centric evolution, further research is needed to confirm this groundbreaking theory. As it stands, the migration path of our ancestors appears to be more complex than previously thought, indicating a fascinating interplay of biology and geography across millions of years.

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