The Meeting Place

New view of human evolution

Near an old mining town in central Europe, known for its picturesque turquoise-blue quarry water, lay Rudapithecus. For 10 million years, the fossilised ape waited in Rudabánya, Hungary, to add its story to the origins of how humans evolved.

What Rudabánya yielded was a pelvis -- among the most informative bones of a skeleton, but one that is rarely preserved. An international research team led by Professor Carol Ward at the University of Missouri analysed this new pelvis and discovered that human bipedalism -- or the ability for people to move on two legs -- might possibly have deeper ancestral origins than previously thought.

The Rudapithecus pelvis was discovered by David Begun, a professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto who invited Prof. Ward to collaborate with him to study this fossil. Prof. Begun's work on limb bones, jaws and teeth has shown that Rudapithecus was a relative of modern African apes and humans, a surprise given its location in Europe. But information on its posture and locomotion has been limited, so the discovery of a pelvis is important.

"Rudapithecus was pretty ape-like and probably moved among branches like apes do now - holding its body upright and climbing with its arms," said Prof. Ward. "However, it would have differed from modern great apes by having a more flexible lower back, which would mean when Rudapithecus came down to the ground, it might have had the ability to stand upright more like humans do. This evidence supports the idea that rather than asking why human ancestors stood up from all fours, perhaps we should be asking why our ancestors never dropped down on all fours in the first place."

Modern African apes have a long pelvis and short lower back because they are such large animals, which is one reason why they typically walk on all fours when on the ground. Humans have longer, more flexible lower backs, which allow them to stand upright and walk efficiently on two legs, a hallmark characteristic of human evolution. Prof. Ward said if humans evolved from an African ape-like body build, substantial changes to lengthen the lower back and shorten the pelvis would have been required. If humans evolved from an ancestor more like Rudapithecus, this transition would have been much more straightforward.

"We were able to determine that Rudapithecus would have had a more flexible torso than today's African apes because it was much smaller -- only about the size of a medium dog," Prof. Ward said. "This is significant because our finding supports the idea suggested by other evidence that human ancestors might not have been built quite like modern African apes."

What do you think of this new discovery? Are you amazed we are still continuing to learn more about human evolution?

8 comments

An important milestone in paleontology ... a very interesting find indeed 

I've seen guys look like that.

Usually at the gym. hehe

I can see the esemblance ...perhaps Western man evolved from Rudapithecus.

Not a bad looing guy, like the modern looking haircut!

 

 

Yep, this is an exciting discovery especially because Rudapithecus  is related to both modern African apes ad humans. The amount of information that can be obtained from a well preserved pelvis is extremely valuable. It would be interesting to know too whether it’s a female or male pelvis.

BundyGil above has sexed the pelvis

"I've seen guys look like that.

Usually at the gym. hehe"

I must but agree as I've also seen look alikes at the gym

Ben tells us that this fosil was an ape - not a human being. The rest of the account is about how evolutionary scientists are trying to create a 'missing link' from what may be a mutation in a species, and add to the fairy tale of evolution. If you are prepared to suspend logical thought and analysis, then this discovery may sound exciting. However, evolutionists are quite contradictory in their claims.

On the one hand thay want you to believe that everything originated from nothing, by an explosion that occurred for no reason at all. On the other hand, they want you to suspend belief that an explosion only produces chaos, and that this explosion not only created order, but all the physical elements and laws of the universe. And from this order, they want you to believe that life inexplicably appeared. On top of that, they want you to believe that life progressed from the simplest organism to the most complex, even changing species along the way, let alone dividing into animal and vegetable. What they fail to see, or admit, is that by acknowledging that there is order and there is design, that there has to be some intelligence that creates and sustains it. If everything were random and chaotic, there would be no 'evolution' to study. Whether they like it or not, our evolutionary scientists are in fact closet creationists, because, if it were not for creation, they would have nothing to study.

However, the saddest part of this 'find', is that these scientists are going to waste time and money trying to prove the unproveable, and fool a lot of people in the process.

 

I hadn't seen the article. Would it really have supplied that head image Suze. Seems a highly anthropomorphic interpretation for a being about the size of a dog and represented in fossilised form. 

Agree though, a very interesting find. Well before the 'out of africa' models and while that could still be the case if this interpretation is accurate, any point of generation may need to be settled according condusive climate at the time failing other substantiation.

I wonder how primates got South America. Between 80 million and 10 million  years ago there was apparently no connection between the Americas and Africa/eurasia but Primates are said to appear in the tropics there at least 10 million years ago. Africa and eurasia were well connected prior to 10 million years ago and both appear to contain condusive (tropical) climates. At the same time, although a warm climate may be codusive it would not need to be tropical if humans developed from apes who already tended to walk upright (since they would spend less time in trees)  

 

 

Hi BillF2,

I would freely admit the possiblity that there may be 'beings' or even one 'being' that is so unknowably powerful and knowing that we could reasonably term them God or Gods. The conjunction that I cannot find in your argument lies in the area that the wonder of life and change which gave rise to evolutionary theory (and which gradually becomes better known) is any more unconditional than a belief in God or Gods.

In the first instance (for example,) where did they or it come from? 

Exactly JAID if such a being exists where did it come from? BIG question without any suggestion from any direction at this point in time.

Exactly JAID if such a being exists where did it come from? BIG question without any suggestion from any direction at this point in time.

Interesting, thanks Ben.

More info from the University of Missouri where the report originated, including video.

Rare 10 million-year-old fossil unearths new view of human evolution.

Illustration courtesy of John Sibbick. Inset: Pelvis fragment. Both from the University of Missouri article above.

The study, “A late Miocene hominid partial pelvis from Hungary,” was published in the Journal of Human Evolution. See here.

:) As for God or Gods ... I think the concept has evolved LOL.

For anyone who takes the time to read Charles Darwin's 'Origin of Species', he makes the point drawn from his own scientific observations that like two different people in different parts of the world can independently develope a similar, or even identical idea, so too have similar categories of species developed independently from each other due to the conditions that favored their independent evolution. So sharing similar DNA, a pelvis, or what have you, in no way means that we descended from another particular species. And I am not a creationist - this is just science. So there is no point in charting out a line of decendancy based on these factors. 

The important thing to note is that these other species do share so much in common with us that even if we see ourselves as more important, special, or aware because of our human status, it still cannot be denied that other species are not different enough from us to justify what we do to them. 

8 comments