Posted by: Guy Edwards on May 17th, 2013
Artist’s reconstruction of two new Oligocene primates, the ape Rukwapithecus
(foreground left) and the Old World monkey Nsungwepithecus (background right).
“These discoveries are important because they offer the earliest fossil evidence for either of these primate groups,” –Nancy Stevens
anthropologist at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio
So more specifically, the fossils suggest the time when apes diverged from monkeys, or as I like to translate it, “when Sasquatch ancestors diverged from monkeys”. Skeptics will prefer that I am not so definitive about the existence of Bigfoots and some bigfooters would prefer I not diminish Bigfoots’ intelligence and culture by associating them to apes. In order to to dissuade both camps from criticism I’m just gonna say that a blog about Bigfoot is obviously hopeful that Bigfoot will be a recognized species and to non-apers, apes is a designation of biology, not a comment on culture or intelligence.
Now we can get to the cool part and why this article is interesting. There was a gap in the fossil record and we really didn’t know when monkeys and apes diverged. DNA research suggested it was about 25 million years ago, but we had no physical evidence that supported that. So this is a twofer;
1) we get solid physical evidence and
2) it supports what DNA had suggested.
Read the details from an excerpt of the LiveScience article below:
The fossil remnants of these two primate species date back to 25 million years ago, filling a gap in the fossil record that reveals when apes and monkeys first diverged.
“These discoveries are important because they offer the earliest fossil evidence for either of these primate groups,” said lead study author Nancy Stevens, an anthropologist at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
DNA evidence has long suggested that apes and Old World monkeys diverged from a common ancestor between 25 million and 30 million years ago. But until now, no fossils older than 20 million years had been found.
The age of the new specimens extends the origin of apes and Old World monkeys into the Oligocene Epoch, which lasted from 34 million to 23 million years ago. Previously, only three primate species were known from the late Oligocene globally, Stevens said.
“These finds can help us to further refine hypotheses about the timing of diversification of major primate groups,” Stevens said.
You can read the full article at Live Science
Guy Edwards – has written 182 posts on this site.
Psychology reduces to biology, all biology to chemistry, chemistry to physics, and finally physics to mathematical logic.