Primate ancestry, new research


This video says about itself:

24 April 2014

From opposable thumbs to bipedalism, follow the human evolution timeline in this gripping biology video that’s perfect for the classroom.

All primates, including humans, evolved from a common ancestor 50 million years ago. Our shared evolutionary history has resulted in many shared features, like hands that grasp and forward-facing eyes. Watch Neil Shubin find evidence of evolution in modern-day squirrel monkeys.

For more videos on human evolution, see our evolution playlist.

From Science News:

Picture of primate common ancestor coming into focus

New family tree analysis points to nocturnal, rodent-sized, tree-climbing critter

By Erin Wayman

7:00am, October 29, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY — The earliest primate was a tiny, solitary tree dweller that liked the night life. Those are just some conclusions from new reconstructions of the primate common ancestor, presented October 27 at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Eva Hoffman, now a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, and colleagues at Yale University looked at behavioral and ecological data from 178 modern primate species. Examining patterns of traits across the primate family tree, the researchers inferred the most likely characteristics of ancestors at different branching points in the tree — all the way back to the common ancestor.

This ancient primate, which may have lived some 80 million to 70 million years ago, was probably no bigger than a guinea pig, lived alone and gave birth to one offspring at a time, the researchers suggest. Living in trees and active at night, the critter probably ventured out to the ends of tree branches to eat fruits, leaves and insects.

But this mix of traits probably didn’t arise in primates, Hoffman says. After adding tree shrews and colugosprimates’ closest living relatives — to the analysis, the researchers concluded these same attributes were also present in the three groups’ common ancestor. So explanations of early primate evolution that rely on these features need to be reconsidered, Hoffman says.

4 thoughts on “Primate ancestry, new research

  1. Pingback: World’s oldest amphibian fossil in Scotland? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  3. Pingback: Vertebrate animal evolution, new study | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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