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
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. ancient ape

    wow. ancient animals. who'd of thunk.

    August 2, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. Madame Royale

    Lol!

    August 2, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sheryl

    Do you think my designer could fashion a hat out of that?

    August 2, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. Madame Royale

    @Sheryl:

    Yes.
    But why would you want to?
    Although it *would* be one-of-a-kind...

    August 2, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. rox731

    This is so cool. Nature doesn't really keep skeletons in tact, so to find one like this is really a great find!

    August 2, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Madame Royale

    Kind of gives pause to the 'ashes to ashes, dust to dust' theory...

    August 2, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. coffins

    Coffins sort of go against that theory also.

    August 2, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. Madame Royale

    @coffins:

    They surely do.

    August 2, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. CSnSC

    Its just another tie-in ad for the new Planet of the Apes movie.

    August 2, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. coffins

    No, not "surely"..."sort of". Flesh and bones are made out of dust particles and turn back to dust unless something is preserving them, like coffins. The 'dust to dust theory' turn's out to be the truth after all.

    August 2, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Madame Royale

    @coffins:

    Whatever you say...
    It would seem our ape had a very fine coffin, then, to have survived 20 million years...
    And apparently you don't have a grasp of sarcasm, either.

    CSinSC:

    Probably.
    That's one movie I won't see...it will kill the campiness of the original...

    August 2, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. coffins

    Very fine coffin indeed. Not fossil fine, but fine nonetheless. "From dust you were made and to dust shall you return" an old man once explained. Hardly anyone believed him though, and even today they make fun of him...some under the guise of 'sarcasm'. Advances in science and technology have shown this old man's words to be true. Turns-out we are made out of dirt after all, yet some still don't really believe it.

    August 2, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. CSnSC

    We are all made from star stuf. @ YRH, I couldnt make myself watch the last re-make either.

    August 2, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. CSnSC

    Get your paws off me you damn dirty ape !

    August 2, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Madame Royale

    Except according to the followers of the old man, the earth wasn't in existence 20 million years ago.
    To put a finer point on it, I wasn't using the 'sarcasm' in relation to what you are thinking of.

    August 2, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
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