The first-ever chimpanzee fossils were recently found in an area seen for a long time as "unsuitable" for chimps.
Researchers dug up three chimp teeth - two incisors and one molar, mixed in with fossils of many other animals.
But the amazing thing is that fossils of human ancestors were also found less than a half-mile (1 kilometer) from the lake shore where the chimp fossils were buried and, most important, they were found in sediments of the same age as the chimp teeth - about half a million years old.
"We know today if you go to western and central Africa that humans and chimps live in
similar and neighboring environments," disclosed Nina Jablonski, anthropologist for the California Academy of Sciences.
"This is the first evidence in the fossil record that they coexisted in the same place in the past" she added.
It has been thought for a long time that chimpanzees never lived in the arid Rift Valley, but in places like Congo and jungles of western Africa.
For years, scientists believed that first human ancestors left the jungles and moved east to the less wooded lands, In their opinion, this migration caused the evolutionary split between the human and chimp lines.
But that might totally change now, since the discovery of ancient chimps and humans in the same area.
Yes, we are talking about rethinking the entire evolution process!
"For many years people have used this kind of geographic split in environment as an explanation as an origin of humans and bipedalism," stated Sally McBrearty of the University of Connecticut for LiveScience.
"People have still retained this idea of a split geographic distribution of chimps and humans. This shows it certainly wasn't true half a million years ago, and may not have been true before that. We need to look for another reason for the evolutionary split". It's highly unlikely that among your favorite applications, there isn't an IM client. There's a broad offer, and even Google has entered the market. This week, Softpedia News is inviting you to choose your favorite IM client.