Explorers hope Sumatran ape will yield clues on human development
AN unknown species of Indonesian ape could shed light on how our human ancestors began to walk erect. The orang-pendek of Sumatra is said to be a powerfully built ape that walks on two legs like a man. Both native people and western explorers, including
AN unknown species of Indonesian ape could shed light on how our human ancestors began to walk erect.
The orang-pendek of Sumatra is said to be a powerfully built ape that walks on two legs like a man. Both native people and western explorers, including two noted scientists, have reported the creature from the deep jungle.
This week four English scientists and explorers will brave the rainforest in search of the orang-pendek.
The team from the Woolsery-based Centre for Fortean Zoology, will spend two weeks in Sumatra working with the Kubu people, the island's original inhabitants, who will help them track the mysterious ape.
You may also want to watch:
The expedition comes shortly after the announcement of the discovery of a fossil hominid in Georgia. The Dmansis hominids lived 1.8 million years ago and had legs like modern humans, but primitive arms. Their early occurrence has made scientists rethink how hominids moved out of Africa to colonise the rest of the world.
Richard Freeman, the team's zoologist, said: "It was once thought that our ancestors became bipedal when they descended from the trees and moved onto the grass lands of East Africa in order to exploit new food sources. However, now it seems that many apes and hominids were moving 'bipedally' while they were still rainforest dwellers.
- 1 Real ice rink coming to Barnstaple Christmas Village
- 2 Torrington woman rebuilds her life after devastating stroke
- 3 Vandalism at Bideford's Brunswick Wharf development condemned
- 4 £2.1m upgrade will provide space for 38 new North Devon jobs
- 5 Cyclist left with ‘serious head injuries’ after incident in Bideford
- 6 Fangtastic half-term Halloween fun at Yeo Valley Woodland
- 7 Bid for £34 million to improve Devon's bus services submitted
- 8 North Devon architectural practice appoints new director
- 9 New app 'Dscvr' promoting North Devon town centres set to launch
- 10 Firework display set to return to Barnstaple Rugby Club for 2021
"As well as being a major zoological discovery, the orang-pendek could give us some clues on how bipedalism developed."
The group's trip will be recorded on the Centre for Fortean Zoology's website at