After decades of research, scientists seem to have finally discovered the missing link between humans and gorillas. While there is enough evidence to prove that humans evolved from apes, researchers have but little knowledge on the common ancestors that made the transition from apes to humans.
Based on previous studies, our primitive ancestor was an exemplar that preserved ape-like characteristics, while new human traits evolved. During the recent investigation, researchers at the University of San Francisco made new discoveries by analyzing various instances of shoulder blades.
A collection of 3D images withdrawn from African apes, gorillas, orangutans and other modern day species has been compared to a set of photos from modern and ancient humans. Comparisons have revealed that the shoulder blades of the apes gradually evolved towards a down oriented form.
The newly acquired shape has permitted African apes and, implicitly, our common ancestor to climb down from trees and to start employing various utensils. Thus, the primitive man became involved in many more activities until it has become the modern man we know today.
Researchers have further stated that the separation of primitive humans from men most likely occurred 6 or 7 million years ago. Paleontologists hope they will soon discover an ancient human fossil that could help them confirm all the new findings.
According to PhD Professor, Zeray Alemseged from the California Academy of Science, all these discussions remain mere hypotheses in absence of an ancient fossil that can confirm them. The only conclusion that could be inferred from the study of the various instances of shoulder blades is that modern humans are similar to African apes and gorillas.
Lead author of the study, Nathan Young, has stated that the new finding has provided new pieces of information, but further deepened mysteries around human ancestors. Scientists were aware that humans are related to African apes, but they did not know that there are very strong primitive features, as well. They hope they will be able to reconstruct the image of our primitive ancestor using computer software.
The study can have many implications in many areas not just in the scientific field. Many shoulder injuries could be prevented due to the new discovery because medical experts think the downwards orientation of humans’ blade is causing them to be vulnerable.
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