Partial skeleton exposes primate ancestors dwelled in trees

A 62 -million- year-old part skeleton discovered in New Mexico is confirmed that early primate ancestors preferred to dwell in trees.

The New Mexico Museum of Natural history& Science reports that the skeleton was uncovered in New Mexicos San Juan Basin by Thomas Williamson and his twinned sons, Taylor and Ryan. Williamson is the curator of Paleontology at the Museum.


The skeleton is the oldest known primate skeleton and consists of 20 different bones, including the cranium, jaw, teeth and one section of high and low limbs, in accordance with the museum. The primate was found to have aspects that favored living in trees, such as flexible joints to be applied for clambering and grasping to branches.


Researchers say their findings support the hypothesis that plesiadapiforms were the earliest primates. They make their first appearance in the fossil record just after non-avian dinosaurs became extinct, in accordance with the museum. The recent data supports the thought that everything of the geologically oldest primates known from skeletal remains, including several species, were arboreal, wrote the museum.

Stephen Chester, an associate professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, and curatorial affiliate of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Yale Peabody Museum, was indicated in a press release that the various bones comprising the disclosure supply a new opening into primate details.

We now have anatomical prove from the shoulder, joint, hip, knee, and ankle joints that allows us to assess where these animals lived in a way that was impossible when we only had their teeth and jaws, ” Chester noted.

Eric Sargis, professor of Anthropology at Yale University, and a co-author of such studies was indicated that palaechthonids and other plesiadapiforms had outward-facing seeings and relied on stench more than living primates do today, which suggests that plesiadapiforms are transitional between other mammals and modern primates, wrote the museum.

To find a skeleton like this, even if we are shows a bit scrappy, is an evoking breakthrough that draws a lot of recent data to bear on the study of the origin and early growth of primates, said Sargis.

The observes were published in the May 31, 2017, online edition of “Royal Society Open Science.”

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