Rusinga Island, Proconsul africanus and a turn of luck for the Leakey's

in science •  last year 

Rusinga Island is a small island in the North East of Lake Victoria allotted to Kenya.

A number of bits of a primate from the Miocene (~20 million years ago) had been found there and this was where Louis Leakey would take his next expedition in 1948 after securing a benefactor in the form of Charles Boise and 1000 Pounds.

Scientists that had examined the finds from this island back in the 1920's and 30's had already speculated that these primates were the ancestors of chimpanzees and possibly humans. To these they gave the name proconsul or "before Consul", the name of a chimp in the London Zoo.

Louis Leakey had been to the island in the 1930's and found a few fossil bits himself at various sites but then he did not have Mary with him. Within two days of her arrival she would find the most complete skull then known and this would be the major turning point to Louis Leakey's scientific woes. The immediate result was massive media attention and another 1600 Pounds from Boise to continue the expeditions.

Proconsul africanus.JPG
By Nrkpan - Natural History Museum, London., CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Louis Leakey would later write:

An especially important creature was Proconsul africanus. This, many authorities once concluded, gave us an indication of the common stock for apes and men. We have good forelimb bones for it, and in 1948 on Rusinga Island Mary discovered a skull, the first nearly complete specimen ever found. Its canine teeth suggest an ape's, while its forehead reminds us of our own. It seems to me, however, to be neither an ancestral ape, nor yet an ancestor of man, but a side branch with characteristics of both stocks..."

Opinions have varied over time and without much material in between we are left to speculate:

Leakey changed his mind a few times about the exact classification of Proconsul, as did most other palaeontologists. Opinion currently favors a position between the monkeys and the apes.

Proconsul nyanzae skeleton.jpg
By FunkMonk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

At about 18 kilograms and without a tail it resembles an ape in quite a few ways but it has many other old world monkey like features, it may be the common ancestor of all apes or an ancestor of all apes and old world monkeys.

Proconsul NT.jpg
By Nobu Tamura ( - , CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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Nice post and informative , your so genious , good job , i like it .

Your post is always different i follow your blog everytime , your post is so helpful . I always inspire of your post on my steem work . Thank you for sharing @gavvet

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The Rusinga Island is highly made of fossils that too of volcanic eruption, The particular fossil mattresses are usually layers involving volcanic ash created by the succession involving mind-blowing eruptions throughout the very first periods of a volcano that gradually included a location 75 mile after mile in diameter. The particular volcano is actually eroded down to the particular frosty magma in it's in-take that creates up the Kisingiri hillsides on the landmass complete opposite Rusinga, and also the surrounding monuments of the cone: the particular semicircular Rangwa mountain variety, and also the destinations involving Rusinga in addition to border Mfangano Island. This specific rift pit volcano on the lower flank of the now-inactive Winam Gulf stolen more deeply within the mantle as compared to oceanic or perhaps subduction region volcanos, as well as lavas in addition to mind-blowing ash confuses so included much more carbonate in addition to alkali as compared to normal. This specific meant that although the particular Miocene natural environment ended up being the exotic rainforest, the particular chemistry of the effective ash mattresses ended up being that of a wasteland dried out pond, preserving sets from caterpillars in addition to berries to apes in addition to elephants within the unusual situation located only in added Distance Cameras ex-volcanos, obviously Menengai in addition to Homa Off-road in western Kenya, Napak in addition to Attach Elgon in Uganda, and also the significantly more youthful Ol Doinyo Lengai in Tanzania, which made the particular fossil mattresses involving Olduvai Mountainous...

I am very proud of her that she had shed light on the real human history.

  ·  last year (edited)

Early Miocene deposits on Rusinga Island (Lake Victoria, Kenya) contain an abundance of faunal and floral remains. Despite the attention that has historically been given to the early Miocene fauna from Rusinga Island, little attention has been given to the early Miocene fossil floras and to date no studies have described fossil leaf morphotypes from Rusinga Island.Rusinga Island resides on what was once the flank of the large carbonatite-nephelinite Kisingiri Volcano, which formed in the early Miocene in association with the failed Nyanza Rift. These Miocene deposits pre-date the formation of Lake Victoria.

Rusinga Island, with an elongated shape approximately 10 miles (16 km) from end to end and 3 miles (5 km) at its widest point, lies in the eastern part of Lake Victoria at the mouth of the Winam Gulf. Part of Kenya, it is linked to Mbita Point on the mainland by a causeway.

Louis Leakey was an outstanding researcher and at the same time a charismatic personality, but, among other things, he was accompanied by extraordinary luck. Thanks to his works, the genealogy of mankind was supplemented by numerous creatures of semi-human and quite human appearance, and its origin was pushed back by hundreds of thousands, or rather, millions of years ago.

There are many hidden thing that are available which is more valuable than any treasure

Looking back, how much have we really evolved?

The fossil looks creeepy. I wouldn't known it's a monkey unless I see the photo. How far can Science go?

These old and deep antiques concerned must be priced fantastically
I know a friend who trades in it is a great baker

The body shape does look like a monkey / ape variant.

Informative post about past great work -i always enjoy your work and menstion you work under my post @gavvet

a very useful research for mankind, I wonder if you believe our ancestors are apes?
I have so far not been able to answer what when my elementary school boy asked, but the school certainly teaches our apes apes .. how do you think @gavvet ,, thanks

This skull looks like a human. And I tend to trust that, to some extent, these are indeed the remains of our ancient ancestors. This monkey in the picture looks as if it left a few steps on the ladder of evolution, in order to stand on two legs and take up a stick.

What a wonderful piece, posts like this goes a long way in impacting people's lives... So much to learn @gavvet.
Keep it up

very beautiful island
dear @gavvet

Detaylı bir paylaşım yapmışsın sağol

Great Blog!!! Fossils from 20 Million years ago to be found is absolutely insane! I wonder how much those would go for at an auction!

Wow that is so cool. I would love to get to Kenya.

Congratulations @gavvet!
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I wonder where it fits in our ancestral tree. Probably not too far from our common ancestor from apes.

It's studies like this about evolution what should be a llittle more spread out!

Wow intersting thank you Gavin