The oldest known hip from a great ape is now shedding light on the evolution of hominids, revealing the ancient creature may have adopted the upright posture often linked with humans and living great apes, researchers say.
Scientists discovered the fossil skeleton of an ape near Barcelona in Catalonia in northeastern Spain in 2002, when a bulldozer was clearing the land for digging. They named it Pierolapithecus catalaunicus, or the ape from near the village of Els Hostalets de Pierola in Catalonia.
The researchers estimate the ape lived about 11.9 million years ago. Analysis of its skeleton and teeth suggest it was male, weighed about 77 lbs. (35 kilograms) and dined on fruit. Read more.