First Convincing Chimp Fossils Found

The first fossils from a chimpanzee have been discovered in East Africa, filling one of the gaps in the evolutionary record. Three teeth discovered in Rift Valley, Kenya, have been confirmed as belonging to a chimp that lived approximately 500,000 years ago.

Fossilized chimpanzee teeth

The fossil teeth were found in sediments that include fossils of two early humans – Homo erectus or Homo rhodensiensis – suggesting that chimp and human ancestors were contemporaries.

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The chimpanzee genome has also just been released by an international consortium of scientists.