Prof debunks claim that first known human ancestor not from Southern Africa

A front page report in British newspaper The Times on Wednesday claims that a new discovery suggests the first known human ancestor may actually not have lived in Southern Africa but in Bulgaria and Greece.

The species is being called Greaco-pithecus Frey-bergi.

The only part of this species that has been found is part of a jawbone. Stephen Grootes spoke to Professor Lee Burger to understand whether this is enough to extrapolate these findings.

I wouldn't believe Guardian headlines, or Times headlines so easily.

Professor Lee Burger, Research Professor in Human Evolution at Wits University

Let me put in context this Greaco-pithecus discovery. It was discovered actually in World War 2 and it has been known for a very long time. It is in very bad condition, it is of an ape, something that we would call a Miocene ape, something that lives between five and twenty million years ago.,... based on a single character that the researchers saw that is the shape of a root, they declared that this is a hominin ancestor.

Professor Lee Burger, Research Professor in Human Evolution at Wits University

Single character descriptions of hominage are a bad idea. You need a lot more, you, in fact, should probably have lots of whole bodies to make extraordinary claims like this... I don't think we can move the ancestry of hominids outside of Africa just yet.

Professor Lee Burger, Research Professor in Human Evolution at Wits University

Click on the link below to listen to the full interview...


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Homo Naledi likely to have lived alongside humans

Homo Naledi likely to have lived alongside humans

A team of scientists have announced the age of Homo Naledi and it was revealed these species are much younger than thought.

New Homo naledi skeleton turns archaeological history on its head, says Berger

New Homo naledi skeleton turns archaeological history on its head, says Berger

Wits Prof. Lee Berger says the latest Homo naledi fossil discovery will force scientists to question archaeological record.

Meet Tebogo Makhubela, the scientist who's ‘dating’ the Homo Naledi fossils

Meet Tebogo Makhubela, the scientist who's ‘dating’ the Homo Naledi fossils

As Tebogo Makhubela shares his story, he explains that geochronology isn't an everyday job; it's the kind of career that finds you.

#The411 - What's it like being related to #HomoNaledi?

#The411 - What's it like being related to #HomoNaledi?

South Africans have their say on what it means to them finding out that they're related to Homo Naledi.

The Science Inside Fossils (and Human Ancestry)

The Science Inside Fossils (and Human Ancestry)

Excited by the discovery of Homo Naledi, the team has investigated all of the aspects to give you The Science Inside fossils

Popular articles
The Polo GTI has got that vrrrpha mentality written all over it - Jacob Moshokoa

The Polo GTI has got that vrrrpha mentality written all over it - Jacob Moshokoa

Automotive Journalist, Jacob Moshokoa shares his views of the Polo GTI 2018, and chats about the vrrrpha mentality among young men

Sucking titties does not cure cancer, it detects it - Lillian Dube

Sucking titties does not cure cancer, it detects it - Lillian Dube

Actress, Cancer survivor and activist Lillian Dube shares why she decided to be a cancer activist.

Yet another wet and cold weekend for Gauteng warns weather service

Yet another wet and cold weekend for Gauteng warns weather service

Gauteng residents are warned to brace themselves for another weekend of heavy rain, possible hail and damaging winds.

[Watch] SA choir stuns with isiZulu cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’

[Watch] SA choir stuns with isiZulu cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone Viral'.

Calls for more women to come forward and testify at Timothy Omotoso's trial

Calls for more women to come forward and testify at Timothy Omotoso's trial

Thanduxolo Jindela explains why he is running a campaign to encourage more of Omotoso’s victims to come out and testify.

10-year-old maths whiz Sbahle Zwane gets a scholarship from Curro school

10-year-old maths whiz Sbahle Zwane gets a scholarship from Curro school

Azania Mosaka catches up with Sbahle Zwane's mother to hear about developments with his schooling.

[WATCH] Is it a cow's penis or an udder? Well, this kid thinks it's a penis

[WATCH] Is it a cow's penis or an udder? Well, this kid thinks it's a penis

Check out the videos, tweets, Facebook posts that have gone viral and why this kid cheered her dad on in the toilet.