More than 13 million years ago a young ape lay dead in the lush green forest in Northern Kenya and its body got covered with ash from the volcano. The scientists recently found that baby skull which lay buried underneath and was well conserved and got a remarkable glimpse of its past and it guided them in the ape evolution.
The skull is the size of a lemon and has an affiliation to recently identified species of early ape named Nyanzapithecusalesi. Its features are a striking resemblance to today’s old world monkeys and apes and face has a remarkable closeness to infant gibbons.
This skull provides cognizance into early Ape’s brains. After digressing from the old world monkeys between 25 and 28 million years agoapes diversified near the middle of the Miocene epoch. Many of the descent died approximately 7 million years ago when a natural calamity struck the Earth or a natural climate change occurred. Today’s apes and humans are the descendants of one of these Miocene ape lineages.
The exact evolution of Apes yet remains a mystery as they lived in rainforests which is not favorable for fossilization. Until N. alesi, only one other Miocene ape skull had been found with the braincase, or neurocranium, intact.
Brenda Benefit, a New Mexico State University anthropologist, said that finding the entire neurocranium intact is usually impossible. Either you get jaws, the face or sometimes beginning of the forehead bone. But in this site they found the neurocranium intact.