Fossil primate discovery in Saudi Arabia


http://www.nsf.gov/js/video/player.swf

This is a video of the new primate discovery.

From the National Science Foundation in the USA:

New Primate Fossil Found in Saudi Arabia

Researchers discover a new primate fossil suggesting the split between humans and Old World monkeys occurred 29 million years ago

July 14, 2010

A new Catarrhine primate fossil discovered in Saudi Arabia suggests the evolutionary spilt between Old World monkeys and humans occurred older than previously thought, around 29 million years ago. The discovery challenges the theory that the groups diverged around 5 million years earlier than the date of the recent fossil find.

Geologist and paleontologist Iyad Zalmout and his colleagues from the University of Michigan and the Saudi Geological Survey reported the finding this week in the journal Nature.

Scientists long ago concluded humans and apes have a common ancestor with Old World monkeys, but it is unclear when the two groups diverged from that common ancestor. But the new catarrhine fossil, Saadanius hijazensis, found by Zalmout and his research team in western Saudi Arabia by the Red Sea is helping to shed light.

This is “the first substantial fossil primate from Arabia and from a period of between 30 and 23 million years ago where almost all the primate fossil record from this period is very rare, and if any is found, it is not as complete as this discovery,” said Zalmout. The fossil, found in 2009, is dated to 29-28 million years ago.

1 thought on “Fossil primate discovery in Saudi Arabia

  1. Pingback: Lizards in Saudi Arabia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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