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Scientists May Have Found Last Common Ancestor of Apes, Man


Scientists in Spain say they have discovered fossil remains of what may be the last common ancestor of apes and man.

In an article published Friday in the journal Science, the researchers say they have concluded that the skull, teeth and bones found near Barcelona are those of a tree-climbing primate which lived about 13 million years ago.

The creature shared some characteristics common with great apes and humans, but different from lesser apes and monkeys. The scientists believe specimen they found was a male, weighing roughly 32 kilograms. They say it would have lived primarily on fruit.

Scientists believe that great apes - gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and humans - split off from other primates between 11 and 17 million years ago.