August 2nd, 2011
09:52 AM ET

Ancient ape skull found in Uganda

Scientists say they have found a 20 million-year-old fossil of an ape skull in Uganda.

A team of French and Ugandan paleontologists found the skull at a site called Napak XV, said team leader Martin Pickford, according to the news site The Hindu.

"This is the first time that the complete skull of an ape of this age has been found. ... (I)t is a highly important fossil and it will certainly put Uganda on the map in terms of the scientific world," Pickford said Tuesday in Kampala, according to France's Expatica.com.

The skull belonged to a male Ugandapithecus major, an ancestor of today's great apes.

The expedition was led by Pickford, of the Collège de France in Paris, and professor Brigitte Senut of the Paris-based National Museum of Natural History, reported Uganda's New Vision website.

The discovery will enhance understanding of the development of apes and humans, the scientists said.

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Filed under: Animals • France • Science • Uganda
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