By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
Timeline Story

Genus Nakalipithecus: Gorillas Branch Off

Genus Nakalipithecus: Gorillas Branch Off

From Year 0 (BCE/CE): -10000000
Post Date: 04/02/0000
320,000 Generations Ago

Last Gorilla-Chimp-Human ancestor: The last common ancestor of gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans likely lived about 8 to 10 million years ago. Both the Nakalipithecus and Chororapithecus genuses are candidates. Genus Nakalipithecus: This “might” be the leading plausible candidate. From Kenya, they are dated to about 10 million years ago.

Following the divergence of the orangutans, the gorilla lineage branched off from the rest of the great ape family around 8 to 9 million years ago. This split led to the evolution of the largest of the living apes, the gorillas. They exhibit a fascinating social structure and exhibit impressive displays of strength, yet are known for their gentle nature. The divergence of gorillas from the common ancestor they shared with humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos further highlights the rich tapestry of evolution that has given rise to the variety of great ape species seen today.

Location: Emerged in Western or Central Africa; spread to Eastern Africa and no further.
Size: Up to 5’8″ and 550 pounds (Eastern Lowland Gorillas)

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