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Ancient Teeth Found in Vietnam

Monday, March 2, 2009

A team of scientists has discovered almost 70 ancient teeth in the mountains of northeast Vietnam. The teeth are from early humans and human-like creatures.

The teeth are from a time when many human-like creatures were thought to have disappeared from Earth. The scientists found the ancient teeth in Them Khuyan cave. This is near Vietnam's border with China.

In their report, the scientists say some of the teeth found in the cave are from ancient orangutans. Some are from unknown creatures similar to orangutans. And others are from a completely different and unknown groups of ape-like creatures. The scientists also found nine teeth from the early human group known as homo erectus.

Teeth can show if an ancient creature was short or tall. They can tell if the creature ate meat or plants. They cannot tell, however, exactly what the creature looked like.

Professor Tattersall says the creatures whose teeth were found in Tham Khuyen cace did not live there. He says they died in other places. He believes their teeth were carried into the cave by floodwaters. Sadly, he says, the floodwaters did not carry and other remains of the ancient creatures.


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