The Ape in the Tree

April 21, 2007

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Ever wondered about the apes in the human family tree? The best known is Proconsul, named in the 1930s after a famous performing chimpanzee, Consul. Dated to 20 million years ago, this fossil ape is represented by several remarkable fossilized skeletons found on the islands of Rusinga and Mwfangano in Western Kenya. One such skeleton was even found in a fossilized tree trunk. Unexpected finds, expeditions in remote areas of Africa, and innovative analyses in high-tech modern laboratories focus on Proconsul to unlock the secrets of this last common ancestors of apes and humans.

 

Recorded Saturday, April 21, 2007 at The Field Museum.