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Tanzania Fossils May Pinpoint Critical Split Between Apes and Monkeys 25

Posted by Soulskill
from the jesus-rode-dinosaurs dept.
sciencehabit writes "From the human perspective, few events in evolution were more momentous than the split among primates that led to apes (large, tailless primates such as today's gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans) and Old World monkeys (which today include baboons and macaques). DNA studies of living primates have estimated that the rift took place between 25 million and 30 million years ago, but the earliest known fossils of both groups date no earlier than 20 million years ago. Now, a team working in Tanzania has found teeth and partial jaws from what it thinks are 25-million-year-old ancestors of both groups. If the interpretations hold up (abstract), the finds would reconcile the molecular and fossil evidence and possibly provide insights into what led to the split in the first place."
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Tanzania Fossils May Pinpoint Critical Split Between Apes and Monkeys

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  • Hmmmm..... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @04:50PM (#43735055)

    Tanzania Fossils May Pinpoint Critical Split Between Apes and Monkeys

    Why go to Tanzania when the missing links can still be found on Capitol Hill?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I thought that the apes on Capitol Hill belonged to the Old World monkey class.

    • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @05:59PM (#43735683)

      Tanzania Fossils May Pinpoint Critical Split Between Apes and Monkeys

      Why go to Tanzania when the missing links can still be found on Capitol Hill?

      Obviously, when confronted with two possible sites for an experiment, you go for the safer and saner option.

  • Relation to Ida? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eternaldoctorwho (2563923) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @05:18PM (#43735317)

    This is very interesting - I just finished reading The Link by Colin Tudge, et al (You can get it here [amazon.com]. I definitely recommend reading it if you are even vaguely interested in paleontology). In it, they discuss Ida, a specimen found in Germany's Messel pit, which is believed to be closely related to the first common ancestor between anthropoids (Old & New World apes, hominids) and other simians (lemurs, tarsiers, etc). If the claim made in the article is true, the discovered species would be contemporary with our ancestor living after Ida but before hominids separated from apes. A really great find! I wonder what a comparison between Ida and this new species will reveal. Mind you, that may never happen, since Ida is a very complete fossil and all they found here were teeth and fragments.

    • by Kittenman (971447)

      This is very interesting - I just finished reading The Link by Colin Tudge, et al (You can get it here [amazon.com]. I definitely recommend reading it .

      FWIW - thank for the link.

  • If it doesn’t have a tail, it’s not a monkey
    Even if it has a monkey kinda shape
    If it doesn’t have a tail, it’s not a monkey
    If it doesn’t have a tail
    It’s not a monkey, it’s an ape!

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