A new finding that indicates the existence of 7 million years old primates that walked like humans has put the entire scientific community to debate.
It is the only hominoid species that managed to survive the so-called Vallesiene crisis, in which almost all of the mammals in Europe became extinct.
But now it has become much more impressive since a new study revealed that they walked on two legs, like us.
This primate, also known as “enigmatic hominoid”, although its scientific name is Oreopithecus Bambolii, lived in Italy about 7 million years ago.
Since it was discovered that primates that walked on their 2 feet, it has generated great controversy, as some believe that it is a totally arboreal primate, while others say it was also terrestrial.
However, it has been published in a study in the PNAS magazine, where surprising data was revealed, but the one that stands out the most is its anatomical characteristics.
The lower part of the thorax, including the pelvis and lumbar vertebrae, provided new information that concludes this mammal was able to walk upright on its feet.
The team was led by Ashley Hammond, of the American Museum of Natural History, known as AMNH for its acronym in English, and several collaborating experts from the University of Florence, the Museum of Natural History of Basel and the Catalan Institute of Miquel Crusafont Paleontology.
The most complete skeleton was discovered more than 60 years ago inside a coal mine and belonged to a young adult male species, about 30 kilograms and named “Sandrone”.
Its classification was always a controversial subject for scientists, which is why it was known as the “enigmatic hominoid”.
Despite being one of the most complete fossils found, the strange mixture of different anatomical features makes experts lean in one direction or another.
And it is that the skeleton has typical characteristics of a cercopitécido, of the family of macaques and hominids, the direct ancestors of humans.
The new study reveals that the skeleton possessed five lumbar vertebrae, instead of the common four that have great apes, such as gorillas.
The pelvis of the specimen also has certain peculiarities in its anatomy that had not been detected in other primates in the past, such as the transverse shape of the iliac wings or the size of its sternum, typical in Miocene hominids.
What’s your opinion about it? Could we be talking about the missing link in evolution? Leave your comment below.