Ancient Teeth Found in Europe Belonged to Mystery Primate
Despite claims of a new origin story for humans, the fossils more likely belonged to a very distant branch on the primate family tree.
Two well-preserved teeth recovered from sediments in Germany offer intriguing clues to how some of our distant primate relatives eked out a living in what is now northern Europe. But do these teeth, as many news outlets have proclaimed, “rewrite human history?” In a word, no.
The much-ballyhooed discovery comes in the form of two caramel-colored fossil teeth—one identified as a canine, the other as an upper molar—belonging to a primate that lived between nine and 10 million years ago. (Find out more about human evolution.)
Scientists dug up the teeth in September 2016 from Eppelsheim, a prehistoric site near Frankfurt that is famous for its primate fossils. A fossilized femur found at Eppelsheim in the 1820s