Sahelanthropus tchadensis skull (6 - 7 million years).
The Sahelanthropus tchadensis skull was discovered by Michael Brunet's team in Chad in 2001 and described in Nature in 2002. Some suggest that S. tchadensis existed near the time that hominids and apes separated on their evolutionary paths. It could be that this specimen is a representative of an early hominid, predating A. afarensis aferensis by 3 to 4 million years. On the other hand, it might be an ancestor of the gorilla. The characteristics of the cranium are a mosaic of hominid-like (short face, the size and shape of the canines), and ape-like (very large brow ridges and small brain case) features.