© Naturhistorisches Museum Mainz
Dig site near Eppelsheim, Germany.
Ancient ape teeth dating back more than 9 million years and discovered in Germany last year are raising questions about the timeline of human evolution.

The two teeth, discovered in sediment of the Proto-Rhine River, are of an ape species whose remains have never before been observed in Europe.

Understood to belong to one ape, the two teeth are similar in structure to 3 million year old fragments belonging to an ape skeleton previously uncovered in Africa.

However, the German river bed remains, an upper right molar and left canine, predate the African example by more than 6 million years, according to a study published by the National History Museum Mainz.

The age disparity is puzzling since it raises questions over whether apes really originated in Africa.

Understood to belong to one ape, the two teeth are similar in structure to 3 million year old fragments belonging to an ape skeleton previously uncovered in Africa.

However, the German river bed remains, an upper right molar and left canine, predate the African example by more than 6 million years, according to a study published by the National History Museum Mainz.

The age disparity is puzzling since it raises questions over whether apes really originated in Africa.