Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Did Primates Migrate from Asia?
This item establishes primates as far back as 38 million years ago. Claims of migration are specious. Wherever the first primate arose, it quickly occupied every available niche it could get to. It then evolved local forms, a few of which succeeded sufficient to again expand outward and again occupy niches.
This could have happened every million years or so creating a profoundly queer fossil record. That fossil record is typically scant and no such conclusions as described here can be truly supported except to confirm existence.
Our primate forebears were a successful development and they became global rather quickly and then evolved into the present.
DID EARLY PRIMATE ANCESTORS MIGRATE FROM
A new fossil find seems to suggest so, and it's throwing a monkey wrench into our evolutionary timeline.
Wed Oct 27, 2010 02:25 PM ET
Content provided by AFP
Recent fossil findings have suggested our earliest ancestors migrated from Asia to
Africa and not the other way around.
The new fossils are teeth that come from three types of African anthropoids that lived 38 to 39 million years ago.
Ancient fossilized teeth of small anthropoid monkeys discovered in
Libya suggest our earliest ancestors may have migrated from Asia to Africa, research published Wednesday showed.
The origin of anthropoids -- primates including monkeys, apes and humans -- has long been a source of hot debate among palaeontologists.
Experts have long argued anthropoids first appeared in
Africa -- but recent studies suggest an earlier Asian origin, dating 55 million years ago.
Now new fossils, dating 38 to 39 million years ago and discovered in Dur At-Talah in central
, further complicate the debate. Libya
They reveal the existence of three types of African anthropoids -- the oldest discovered on the continent to date, according to the study published in the British journal Nature.
Based on previous discoveries in
Egypt and Algeria, "we are aware until now of only one form of anthropoid primate, dating back 37 million years ago for the oldest," said one of the study's authors, Jean-Jacques Jaeger, of Poitiers University in . France
"Here we have gone further, to 39 or 38 million years, and we have three (types)... and among the three, there is an Asiatic form," he told AFP.
"This therefore signals the direction of migration from Asia toward
Africa," Jaeger added.
The teeth appear to have belonged to tiny primates, weighing between 120 and 470 grams (0.26 to one pound) in adult form.
"They looked more like marmosets than rats," Jaeger said. "They had the same prehensile hands with an opposite thumb, nails rather than claws, certainly a tail that served for balance when they climbed or jumped from one branch to another."
Their diminutive size also suggests our history began small, he added.
The recent discovery also poses another question: Did all three types of anthropoids originate in Asia or were they the product of an initial diversification that took place in
Jaeger's group favors the
"We have the impression it was a relatively significant population movement that most likely took place during the same time," he said.