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Pax Augusta
23-05-17, 17:29
Fuss J, Spassov N, Begun DR, Böhme M (2017) Potential hominin affinities of Graecopithecus from the Late Miocene of Europe. PLoS ONE 12(5): e0177127.

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0177127

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0177127


Abstract
The split of our own clade from the Panini is undocumented in the fossil record. To fill this gap we investigated the dentognathic morphology of Graecopithecus freybergi from Pyrgos Vassilissis (Greece) and cf. Graecopithecus sp. from Azmaka (Bulgaria), using new μCT and 3D reconstructions of the two known specimens. Pyrgos Vassilissis and Azmaka are currently dated to the early Messinian at 7.175 Ma and 7.24 Ma. Mainly based on its external preservation and the previously vague dating, Graecopithecus is often referred to as nomen dubium. The examination of its previously unknown dental root and pulp canal morphology confirms the taxonomic distinction from the significantly older northern Greek hominine Ouranopithecus. Furthermore, it shows features that point to a possible phylogenetic affinity with hominins. G. freybergi uniquely shares p4 partial root fusion and a possible canine root reduction with this tribe and therefore, provides intriguing evidence of what could be the oldest known hominin.


In this study, we propose based on root morphology a new possible candidate for the hominin clade, Graecopithecus freybergi from Europe. Graecopithecus is known from a single mandible from Pyrgos Vassilissis Amalia (Athens, Greece) [38] and possibly from an isolated upper fourth premolar (P4) from Azmaka in Bulgaria [39] (Fig 1A and 1B). A new age model for the localities Pyrgos Vassilissis and Azmaka, as well as the investigations on the fauna of these localities [40] confirms that European hominids thrived in the early Messinian (Late Miocene, 7.25–6 Ma) and therefore existed in Europe ~ 1.5 Ma later than previously thought [39]. This, and recent discoveries from Çorakyerler (Turkey), and Maragheh (Iran) demonstrate the persistence of Miocene hominids into the Turolian (~8 Ma) in Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, and Western Asia [41, 42].


Therefore, we submit that the dental root attributes of Graecopithecus suggest hominin affinities, such that its hominin status cannot be excluded. If this status is confirmed by additional fossil evidence, Graecopithecus would be the oldest known hominin and the oldest known crown hominine, as the evidence for the gorillin status of Chororapithecus is much weaker than the hominin status of Graecopithecus [8]. More fossils are needed but at this point it seems likely that the Eastern Mediterranean needs to be considered as just as likely a place of hominine diversification and hominin origins as tropical Africa.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/figure/image?size=large&id=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0177127.g007

Pax Augusta
23-05-17, 17:42
Messinian age and savannah environment of the possible hominin Graecopithecus from Europe


Böhme M, Spassov N, Ebner M, Geraads D, Hristova L, Kirscher U, et al. (2017) Messinian age and savannah environment of the possible hominin Graecopithecus from Europe. PLoS ONE 12(5): e0177347. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0177347


Abstract

Dating fossil hominids and reconstructing their environments is critically important for understanding human evolution. Here we date the potentially oldest hominin, Graecopithecus freybergi from Europe and constrain the environmental conditions under which it thrived. For the Graecopithecus-bearing Pikermi Formation of Attica/Greece, a saline aeolian dust deposit of North African (Sahara) provenance, we obtain an age of 7.37–7.11 Ma, which is coeval with a dramatic cooling in the Mediterranean region at the Tortonian-Messinian transition. Palaeobotanic proxies demonstrate C4-grass dominated wooded grassland-to-woodland habitats of a savannah biome for the Pikermi Formation. Faunal turnover at the Tortonian-Messinian transition led to the spread of new mammalian taxa along with Graecopithecus into Europe. The type mandible of G. freybergi from Pyrgos (7.175 Ma) and the single tooth (7.24 Ma) from Azmaka (Bulgaria) represent the first hominids of Messinian age from continental Europe. Our results suggest that major splits in the hominid family occurred outside Africa.


The Late Miocene was a time of major hominine radiation (African apes and humans[1]), but when, where, and why lineages split is debated intensely[2, 3]. Recent discoveries[4] with potential hominin (humans and their non-ape ancestors) affinities[5] in Greece (Attica) and Bulgaria (Upper Thrace) raise questions about the age and origin of these candidate pre-humans and the environmental conditions under which they thrived in Europe. Exact dating of Graecopithecus and reconstruction of its habitats in Attica and Upper Thrace may, therefore, shed new light on the debate on hominin origins.


Given the potential hominin affinity of Graecopithecus, our results suggest that the Pan-Homo split predated the Messinian and that the chimpanzee–human last common ancestor thrived in the Mediterranean region. The emerging Saharan and Arabian desert belt thereby possibly acted as a vicariant agent[83]. Our conclusions support views[3] that major Miocene hominid radiations occurred outside Africa and endorse the hypothesis[5] that the hominin clade arose in the Eastern Mediterranean.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/figure/image?size=large&id=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0177347.g001

bicicleur
23-05-17, 18:04
to me this comes out of the blue

never heard of hominins outside of Africa > 2 Ma

and 7 Ma is the split humans <-> apes

Pax Augusta
23-05-17, 18:39
to me this comes out of the blue

never heard of hominins outside of Africa > 2 Ma

and 7 Ma is the split humans <-> apes

I've shared this paper because I can not comprehend it completely, so I'm very interested in the opinion of other users.

bicicleur
23-05-17, 19:26
have a look here :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graecopithecus
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/05/22/europe-birthplace-mankind-not-africa-scientists-find/

Dibran
27-05-17, 18:43
I do not believe mans origins singular. It runs almost counter to reason(correct me if I am wrong). I am more inclined to believe that hominids evolved separately of one another based on their geographic distribution. It is only with interbreeding that stronger more adaptable hominids survived. Naturally all living men today are predominantly descended from Homosapiens, which were the more dominant hominid. However traces of DNA from now extinct hominids survive. Such as neanderthal and denisovan. today we are more commonly descended from Homosapiens. I believe in prehistoric times that hominids were evolving separately in Africa and Europe/elsewhere.