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Prehistoric skull found in dump may be missing common ancestor of apes & humans
The Guardian ^ | Monday November 7, 2005 | Dale Fuchs in Madrid

Posted on 11/07/2005 8:35:20 AM PST by dead

Palaeontologists excavating a dump outside Barcelona have found a skull dating back 14m years that could belong to a common ancestor of apes and humans.

The nearly intact skull, which has a flat face, jaw and teeth, may belong to a previously unknown species of great ape, said Salvador Moya, the chief palaeontologist on the dig. "We could find a cradle of humanity in the Mediterranean," he said.

A routine land survey for a planned expansion of the Can Mata dump in Els Hostalets de Pierola turned up the first surprise in 2002: a primate's tooth.

Since then, scientists from the Miquel Crusafont Institute of Palaeontology in Sabadell have unearthed nearly 12,000 fossils of primates and other animals that lived during the Middle Miocene era - between 14m and 8m years ago - when the area was covered by tropical rainforest and populated by the precursors of today's elephants, antelopes and monkeys.

Last year, the team found a 13m-year-old partial skeleton, also believed to be a common ancestor of apes and humans - a male fruit-eater, nicknamed Pau.

"If there is a place in the world where it is possible to find an entire skeleton of a common ancestor to the great apes and humans, it is Hostalets de Pierola," Mr Moya told El País newspaper. "In few places [will] you uncover so many connected vertebrae in such good condition."

The Can Mata dump sits above clay soil in which animal remains became trapped and well-preserved.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; evilution; history; monkeygod; multiregionalism
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Who would throw something like that away?!
1 posted on 11/07/2005 8:35:21 AM PST by dead
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To: dead

Yeah??? Obviously a Neanderthal pitched it.


2 posted on 11/07/2005 8:36:02 AM PST by The Red Zone (Florida, the sun-shame state, and Illinois the chicken injun.)
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To: dead

Or it could be a missing politician from the Civil War era.


3 posted on 11/07/2005 8:36:13 AM PST by Tax-chick (I'm not being paid enough to worry about all this stuff ... so I don't.)
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To: dead; blam; SunkenCiv

BTTT


4 posted on 11/07/2005 8:37:24 AM PST by Fiddlstix (Tagline Repair Service. Let us fix those broken Taglines. Inquire within(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: dead

Any pictures?


5 posted on 11/07/2005 8:37:49 AM PST by USConstitutionBuff
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To: The Red Zone
Yeah??? Obviously a Neanderthal pitched it.

Not cool, man! Not, cool! ;-)

6 posted on 11/07/2005 8:38:06 AM PST by OB1kNOb (Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.)
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To: dead

Must be the victim of a Miocene mob hit.


7 posted on 11/07/2005 8:38:29 AM PST by counterpunch (~ Let O'Connor Go Home! ~)
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To: OB1kNOb

LOL


8 posted on 11/07/2005 8:39:47 AM PST by Constitution Day
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To: dead

Og Hoffa.


9 posted on 11/07/2005 8:40:13 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Now that taglines are cool, I refuse to have one.)
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To: dead

Yet another missing link.


10 posted on 11/07/2005 8:40:42 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
Yet another missing link.

If they found it, its not missing.

11 posted on 11/07/2005 8:41:28 AM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: OB1kNOb

12 posted on 11/07/2005 8:42:30 AM PST by Battle Hymn of the Republic
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To: blam; PatrickHenry

ping


13 posted on 11/07/2005 8:42:39 AM PST by ASA Vet (Those who know don't talk, those who talk don't know.)
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To: dead
I don't think you would be able to tell from bones if an animal were human. There is that little thing called a soul.

He!!, if you found Islamic bones, you might think THEY were human...
14 posted on 11/07/2005 8:45:03 AM PST by babygene (Viable after 87 trimesters)
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To: USConstitutionBuff
Any pictures?


15 posted on 11/07/2005 8:46:39 AM PST by ErnBatavia (Frist would be a great Majority Leader if he had 65 seats..make that 75)
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To: dead

I think we have El Piltdown man.


16 posted on 11/07/2005 8:46:46 AM PST by Stentor
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To: dead
Palaeontologists excavating a dump outside Barcelona have found . . . dumpster-diving man, the evolutionary fore-runner of the homeless.
17 posted on 11/07/2005 8:47:25 AM PST by ConservativeBamaFan
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To: dead
Though tests show the skull was from a male, fossilized impressions of a tight fitting skirt were apparent on nearby skeletal remains. In light of recent discoveries of cave paintings depicting rainbow colored flags, this specimen has been dubbed The Missing Kink.
18 posted on 11/07/2005 8:48:54 AM PST by SoCal Pubbie
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To: dead
may belong to a previously unknown species of great ape,

Oh, I thought it said...grape ape.


19 posted on 11/07/2005 8:49:00 AM PST by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: dead

Why is it that every time someone finds a skull and dates it, they automatically think they know from the estimated age weather it is some link in some genus (or between them), rather than a dead end branch (which is much more likely) or incidental offshoot?


20 posted on 11/07/2005 8:51:33 AM PST by z3n
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To: z3n
"Why is it that every time someone finds a skull and dates it, they automatically think they know from the estimated age weather it is some link in some genus (or between them), rather than a dead end branch (which is much more likely) or incidental offshoot?" =======================================

They don't. That's why they say it may be. More research is needed. It's still a very interesting find, either way. A 14myo skull of this type is quite interesting.

21 posted on 11/07/2005 8:54:52 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: OB1kNOb

Newsflash! Aboriginal people are the "missing link"! And on a fast track to extinction. More at 10!


22 posted on 11/07/2005 8:55:38 AM PST by kinghorse
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To: dead

"Since then, scientists from the Miquel Crusafont Institute of Palaeontology in Sabadell have unearthed nearly 12,000 fossils of primates and other animals that lived during the Middle Miocene era - between 14m and 8m years ago - when the area was covered by tropical rainforest and populated by the precursors of today's elephants, antelopes and monkeys."




This appears to be a very rich find of Middle Miocene fossils. There's much to be learned from it, I expect. Of course, it will take years of research to come up with any firm conclusions.


23 posted on 11/07/2005 8:57:11 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: dead

My response to this is to cite the dismal record of so-called missing links:

Nebraska man
Java man
Piltdown man
Orce man

Based on past "scientific" discoveries this on will likely end up being the skull of a ten year old three toes sloth.


24 posted on 11/07/2005 8:58:20 AM PST by Busywhiskers ("...moral principle, the sine qua non of an orderly society." --Judge Edith H. Jones)
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To: Busywhiskers

"Based on past "scientific" discoveries this on will likely end up being the skull of a ten year old three toes sloth.
"



No, probably not. Unlike the examples you cited, this find is the result of a serious paleontological excavation. We'll have to see what further research reveals.


25 posted on 11/07/2005 9:06:39 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: Busywhiskers
My response to this is to cite the dismal record of so-called missing links:

Nebraska man
Java man
Piltdown man
Orce man

Based on past "scientific" discoveries this on will likely end up being the skull of a ten year old three toes sloth.

Looks like you are more familiar with the creation "science" websites then anything containing real science.

The details on these finds are in PatrickHenry's List-O-Links.

26 posted on 11/07/2005 9:09:27 AM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: MineralMan
I wonder how long the place has been a dump.

If its been a dump for hundreds of years, the layers and layers of refuse would provide the perfect protection for the site as civilization and industry grew all around it.

An unintentional protector for the treasure underneath.

27 posted on 11/07/2005 9:09:40 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: PatrickHenry

Ping.


28 posted on 11/07/2005 9:10:37 AM PST by Junior (From now on, I'll stick to science, and leave the hunting alien mutants to the experts!)
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To: dead
You know, I don't know. This story, though, is really a year old. There are lots of hits on Google for the name of the institute that is doing the research, from November of last year. Here's a photo of the skull in question:


29 posted on 11/07/2005 9:12:45 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: MineralMan

Just so long as they eventually publish. A lot of stuff in this field doesn't get published; not because of any bias or conspiracy, but simply due to academic sloppiness or lack of funds. Hopefully the folks at the Miquel Crusafont Institute of Palaeontology are not affected by this.


30 posted on 11/07/2005 9:12:54 AM PST by Heatseeker ("I sort of like liberals now. They’re kind of cute when they’re shivering and afraid." - Ann Coulter)
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To: z3n
Why is it that every time someone finds a skull and dates it, they automatically think they know from the estimated age weather it is some link in some genus

1. Optimism
2. If it looks like what is expected, from the right time period current thinking considers likely - it's a good working hypothethis

31 posted on 11/07/2005 9:13:46 AM PST by Oztrich Boy (Paging Nehemiah Scudder:the Crazy Years are peaking. America is ready for you.)
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To: Heatseeker

"Just so long as they eventually publish. A lot of stuff in this field doesn't get published; not because of any bias or conspiracy, but simply due to academic sloppiness or lack of funds. Hopefully the folks at the Miquel Crusafont Institute of Palaeontology are not affected by this."




Actually, there's quite a bit of publication already. The basic story is about a year old. Google the full name of the Institute to find a bunch of additional info, and see above for a photo of the skull.

Apparently, this critter had some features of a primate and some of a monkey, but had short fingers like a primate. It's fascinating, and it sounds like additional stuff is being found now, resulting in this new story.

It's worth a Google.


32 posted on 11/07/2005 9:15:23 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: babygene
I don't think you would be able to tell from bones if an animal were human. There is that little thing called a soul.

But then it is not possible to determine if any animal or human has a soul

33 posted on 11/07/2005 9:17:07 AM PST by Oztrich Boy (Paging Nehemiah Scudder:the Crazy Years are peaking. America is ready for you.)
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To: dead
Who would throw something like that away?!

No no no. You've got to interpolate incompetent reporting.
This "dump" is apparently a cut and cover operation, where pits are dug, garbage spread and compacted, and then filled with thin layes of original soil.

Digging the large pits to begin the process is where the skull and other artifacts were discovered.
Sort of like randomly picking a spot do dig a large deep hole, and discovering unexpected prizes.

34 posted on 11/07/2005 9:18:33 AM PST by Publius6961 (Liberal level playing field: If the Islamics win we are their slaves..if we win they are our equals.)
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To: Oztrich Boy

"But then it is not possible to determine if any animal or human has a soul"




Quite true. The "soul" is some sort of supernatural thing...not something science can study in any way. It's a religious concept, not a scientific one.


35 posted on 11/07/2005 9:20:35 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: dead

Damn....I thought I was like Ethiopian mon!

or Eritrean at least.

now, I'm told I came from some Spanish garbage dump.

i'm starting to get negative about this origins of man stuff I'm telling ya


36 posted on 11/07/2005 9:21:58 AM PST by wardaddy (I am sick of stealth queerness in nearly every movie I rent .)
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To: MineralMan; All
I am now, thanks. The link to the Institute's home page is here (though alas it is only in Spanish) for anyone who is interested.
37 posted on 11/07/2005 9:22:15 AM PST by Heatseeker ("I sort of like liberals now. They’re kind of cute when they’re shivering and afraid." - Ann Coulter)
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To: Publius6961
Why would this early human be taking a dump in Barcelona? Wasn't the city founded much later in ......wait, just re-read.....never mind.

;)

38 posted on 11/07/2005 9:22:23 AM PST by add925 (The Left = Xenophobes in Denial)
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To: MineralMan

The teeth in the lower jaw are in remarkably good shape.


39 posted on 11/07/2005 9:24:53 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: dead
Quick...hurry... put a picture of in the next run of the science text books and teach it as FACT.

Evilution Theology bump.

40 posted on 11/07/2005 9:25:07 AM PST by Rightwing Conspiratr1 (Lock-n-load!)
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To: Oztrich Boy
" But then it is not possible to determine if any animal or human has a soul"

Thats correct. However what makes a human a human is clearly not the bones. It has to do with the way his brain is wired, and you won't be able to they'll that from fossils.
41 posted on 11/07/2005 9:25:37 AM PST by babygene (Viable after 87 trimesters)
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To: trisham

They really are. A complete set of molars is present. Looking at the lower jaw, it's pretty apparent that this is some sort of monkey or ape, not anything else. The period is especially interesting for researchers working on the common ancestry concept, and this looks like a very rich source of fossil material. It's rare to find stuff in such good preservation, and that's going to play a large part in this.


42 posted on 11/07/2005 9:27:15 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: babygene

they'll=tell


43 posted on 11/07/2005 9:27:48 AM PST by babygene (Viable after 87 trimesters)
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To: z3n
Why is it that every time someone finds a skull and dates it, they automatically think they know from the estimated age weather it is some link in some genus (or between them), rather than a dead end branch (which is much more likely) or incidental offshoot?

Shut up. Questioning the priests of Darwin is indication of slope-headedness. /s

44 posted on 11/07/2005 9:28:13 AM PST by Rightwing Conspiratr1 (Lock-n-load!)
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To: MineralMan
It's rare to find stuff in such good preservation, and that's going to play a large part in this.

************

Yes. It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

45 posted on 11/07/2005 9:29:02 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: MineralMan

That's clearly a demon from hell.


46 posted on 11/07/2005 9:29:08 AM PST by Rightwing Conspiratr1 (Lock-n-load!)
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To: dead

Maybe they found it in a dinosaur "dump".


47 posted on 11/07/2005 9:29:34 AM PST by uglybiker (nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh BAT MAN!!)
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To: Rightwing Conspiratr1

"Quick...hurry... put a picture of in the next run of the science text books and teach it as FACT. "

Oh, you can count on this fossil appearing in science texts sometime in the future. That it exists is a fact. That it comes from the Middle Miocene is a fact.

How it relates to later primates, including humans, is something that will have to be studied. And studied it will be.

By the way, it's "evolution" not "evilution."


48 posted on 11/07/2005 9:29:46 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: OB1kNOb
Not cool, man! Not, cool! ;-)

LOL! You were just *waiting* for the perfect post for that reply!

49 posted on 11/07/2005 9:30:05 AM PST by Drew68
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To: ErnBatavia

LMAO!!!


50 posted on 11/07/2005 9:30:35 AM PST by Fruitbat
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