The finding may change the view on the transition to walking upright.
An international team of scientists discovered the remains of an unknown species of apes that lived on the Earth 11.6 million years ago. The discovery allowed the researchers to present a new scenario of transition from moving on four limbs to walking upright.
It is noted that the researchers were able to find the remains of at least four members of the same species, called Danuvius guggenmosi. They were found in Germany in the years 2011-2018. Then they managed to find the bones of primates, among which were the long bones of the limbs, including the ulnar, femur and tibia, vertebrae, bones, bones of the hands and feet. The bones have been preserved in excellent condition, allowing researchers to describe the morphology of the limbs and spine of the apes, and General body proportions.
The ancient Primate was similar in size to modern baboons, the growth of which can reach 110 cm. Judging by the structure of the teeth, he treated dryopithecus apes. These primates lived 9-12 million years ago in Eurasia and East Africa. Rather, most of the time they spent in the trees. Some researchers believe that dryopithecus monkeys could be the ancestors of modern chimpanzees, gorillas and humans.
Researchers believe that a new kind of moved in a way that combines elements of bipedalism and moving through the branches of the trees with the help of the upper limbs. Hands D. guggenmosi was quite long, they were flexible elbow joint that allowed them to move quickly through the branches. In structure they resembled the upper limb of modern great apes.
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But the lower limb a new species more resembled the legs of a man than the great apes. Judging by the structure of the femur and tibia, these primates of the time walked on two legs. And they went on straight limbs, like men and not bent, like chimps or gorillas. They were strong and long big toes. They probably clung to them over the branches of trees, so the researchers concluded that D. guggenmosi of the time travelled around the trees on two legs.