Monday, November 2, 2015
New 11.6 mya primate fossil may change ideas about ape evolution
An ancient primate’s partial skeleton, discovered in northeastern Spain,
is poised to downsize ape evolution in a big way.
This 11.6-million-year-old fossil find, nicknamed Laia by its discoverers,
represents the first evidence that present-day African apes descended from
a relatively small, somewhat gibbonlike common ancestor — not large-bodied
African primates as previously thought, scientists report in the Oct. 30
Science. If that scenario holds up, Laia’s discovery also shows for the
first time that ancient, small-bodied apes moved from Africa to Europe,
says a team led by paleontologist David Alba of Catalan Institute of
Paleontology in Barcelona.
Based on analysis of more than 300 teeth, skull and lower-body measurements,
Alba and colleagues assign the partial skeleton to a new genus and species
of ancient ape, Pliobates cataloniae.
... .... https://www.sciencenews.org/article/petite-primate-fossil-could-upend-ideas-about-ape-evolution http://www.sciencemag.org/content/350/6260/aab2625.full