A 13 million year old fossil discovered in North India came from a newly discovered ape, the oldest ancestor of modern Gibbon. Christopher C. of Hunter College The discovery by Gilbert fills a major void in the Eppor fossil record and provides important new evidence about how today’s Gibbon ancestors traveled from Africa to Asia.
Conclusion As published in Ramnagar’s article “New Middle Miocene ape (Primates: Hyalobatidae), India fills large gaps in hominoid fossil record” Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The fossil, a complete lower molar, belongs to a previously unknown genus and species (Kapi ramnagaraensis) and represents the first new fossil apes discovered in nearly a century in India, the famous fossil site of Ramnagar.
Gilbert’s discovery was serious. Gilbert and team members Chris Campisano, Biren Patel, Rajeev Patnaik, and Premjit Singh were climbing a small hill in an area where a fossil jaw was found a year ago. Pausing for a short rest, Gilbert saw something shiny in a small pile of dirt on the ground, so they dug into him and quickly realized that he had found something special.
“We knew immediately that it was a precious tooth, but it did not look like any of the primate’s teeth previously found in this area,” he said. “From the molar size and shape, our initial guess was that it may be from a Gibbon ancestor, but it looked pretty good, given that the fossil record of lesser apes is almost nonexistent. Other primate species Are known. During that time, no other fossils were previously found anywhere around Ramnagar. So we knew we would have to do our homework to find out what this small fossil was. ”
Since the discovery of the fossil in 2015, years of study, analysis, and comparisons were conducted to verify that the teeth belong to a new species, as well as to accurately determine their place in the apes family tree . The molar was photographed and CT-scanned, and comparative specimens of living and extinct teeth were examined to uncover significant similarities and differences in dental anatomy.
Alejandra Ortiz, who was part of the research team, said, “What we found was quite compelling and pointed to 13 million-year-old teeth closely associated with gibbons.” “Even though, for now, we have only one tooth, and thus, we need to be vigilant, this is a unique discovery. It would have pushed back the oldest known fossil record of gibbons for at least five million years. Is, which is a very important one. His evolutionary history reflects in the early stages. ”
In addition to determining that the new apes represent the earliest known fossil gibbon, the fossil age, about 13 million years old, is contemporary with the famous great apes fossils, providing evidence that the migration of great apes, including Orangutan ancestors are also included. And fewer apes from Africa to Asia occurred around the same time and through the same locations.
“I found that the biographic component is really interesting,” Chris Campisano said. “Today, both gibbons and orangutans can be found in Sumatra and Borneo in Southeast Asia, and the oldest fossil apes are from Africa. Knowing that gibbon and orangutan ancestors existed together in northern India 13 million years ago, There may be more. A similar migration history across Asia, very good. ”
New 13 million year old baby skulls shed light on ancestors
New Middle Miocene ape (Primates: Hyalobatidae) from Ramnagar fills major gaps in the hominoid fossil record of India, Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2020). rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or… .1098 / r oxid.2020.1655
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