Science: Describe how the first monkeys were
Madrid (dpa). New study documents the oldest known fossil evidence of primates, It shows how they separated from their competitors after the dinosaurs disappeared.
A team of 10 researchers from all over the United States analyzed several fossils Purgatorius, The oldest genus of a group of the oldest known primates called plesiadapiforms. These ancient mammals were small in body They consumed specialized insect and fruit foods that varied according to species.
These newly described samples Essential for understanding primates’ ancestors and drawing a picture of how they lived On Earth, it recovered after the Cretaceous and Paleogene extinction 66 million years ago that wiped out all dinosaurs except birds and gave rise to mammals.
Gregory Wilson Mantilla, professor of biology at the University of Washington and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Washington, co-led the study with Stephen Chester of Brooklyn College and City University of New York. York. The team analyzed the fossilized teeth found in the Hill Creek area In northeastern Montana. It is estimated that the fossils, which are now part of the collections of the University of California Museum of Paleontology,They are 65.9 million years, about 105,000 to 139,000 years old After the mass extinction event.
Based on the age of the fossils, the team estimates this The ancestor of all primates, including plesiadapiformes And current monkeys such as lemurs, monkeys and monkeys, It probably originated in the upper Cretaceous period and lived alongside large dinosaurs.
“It’s amazing to think of our most ancient ancient primates ancestorsSaid Wilson Mantilla. “She was one of the first mammals to diversify into the new post-mass extinction world, taking advantage of fruits and insects in the jungle canopy.”
Excavations include two types of Purification and purification of Janice s New type recipe group called Purgatorius mckeeveri. Three of the found teeth had different properties compared to any type of tooth Purgatorius Previously known and led to the description of new species.
Purgatorius mckeeveri Named after Frank McIver, who was one of the first inhabitants of the area where fossils were discovered, as well as the family of John and Cathy McIver, Who have supported the work since then Where the oldest specimen of this new species was discovered.
“This was a really cool study to be a part of, in particular “Because it provides further evidence that the first primates arose before the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs,” said co-author Brody Hofter, a graduate student at the University of Washington in Earth and Space Sciences, in a statement. “They became very abundant within a million years after the extinction.”
“This discovery is exciting because it marks the oldest appearance of ancient primates in the fossil record,” said Chester. “It adds to our understanding of how the first primates separated from their competitors after the dinosaurs disappeared.”