|The new fossil is classified as a Tarsiiformes, like the modern day tarsier above.|
The most compelling physical evidence we have for Bigfoot are the foot prints. The leading academic in Bigfoot research is Dr. Jeff Meldrum, an anthropologist and specialist in the evolution hominid bipedalism. His interest in the morphology (shape) of the foot makes this discovery interesting to us Bigfooters.
Not only does this fossil show one of the earliest primates with a human-like heel, it also pushes back the split of apes from monkey another 10 million years. The fossil has been named Archicebus Achilles. The genus, Archi, is Greek for the beginning, and cebus translates to “long-tailed monkey.” Achilles alludes to the anatomy of the fossil’s heel and the mythological Greek warrior
|The Archicebus Achilles Fossil|
Here's a couple of excerpts from around the web.
A 55-million-year-old monkey with a human face and feet may show when human beings took their own evolutionary path away from there [sic] primates cousins.
Bloomberg BusinessNews reports that skeletal remains 3 inches in diameter had been unearthed in 2003 by a farmer who’d been prospecting for relics in an abandoned paleontological site, in central China’s Hubei province. The Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing have been analyzing the petrified remains for 10 years. It findings were publicized in a paper issued just days ago.
The monkey was from the tarsiiforme family of primates, which has certain characteristics in common with anthropoids, a group of higher – level primates that include Homo sapiens. The monkey has the feet and face of a human being. SRC: The Guardian Express
A local husband and wife [Dan Gebo and Marian Dagosto] team of anthropologists have co-authored research regarding the discovery of a tiny monkey fossil that is one of the most complete and oldest fossils ever found.
The Archicebus has a unusual blend of anatomical features never before seen in the same combination, and is radically different from any other living or fossilized primate, researchers said. SRC: CBS Chicago
Chinese paleontologist Ni Xijun and his colleagues publish a study on the 55-million-year-old primate fossil in the prestigious journal Nature on Thursday.
The discovery provides insight into the earliest phases of primate evolution, according to a news release from Nature.
The ancient primate's name, Archicebus achilles, makes a reference to the animal's anthropoidlike heel bone.
"Previous fossil evidence shows anthropoids diverged from other primates around 45 million years ago, but our analysis of the new fossil brings the time forward by 10 million years," Ni of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology said at a news conference. "It means the evolutionary history of human lineage could be much longer than we thought."
The Archicebus achilles fossil, a nearly complete skeleton, was discovered near Jingzhou in Hubei province about 10 years ago. Since then the fossil has been studied by Ni's team, which used morphological comparison and phylogenetic analysis to search ancient relations to apes, humans and other primates.
"Morphological features are not like DNA evidence, which can be sequenced and compared in a short time," Ni explained. "It takes a great effort for scientists to study the most detailed morphological feature of a skeleton and carefully compare it with a variety of animals."
To reveal more secrets hidden in the rock for millions of years, his team used sophisticated synchrotron CT scanning at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility to digitally separate the fossil from the rock burying it.
After 10 years of detailed research, Ni and his colleagues studied 1,186 morphological features and compared 157 extinct and living mammals.
"Archicebus achilles is neither a monkey nor an ape. It's such an odd creature that it is virtually a mixture of monkeys, apes and tarsiers," he said.
Monkeys, apes and humans are collectively known as anthropoids in science, while tarsiers belong to a group called tarsiiforms. The two groups have separate evolutionary lineages.
Archicebus achilles has small eyes, short heels and a foot in the general form of monkeys, but it also has many limbs and tooth features typical for tarsierlike primates.
"When the anthropoid lineage began to separate from other primates 55 million years ago, they were actually not so different from Archicebus achilles," Ni said. "But the difference becomes larger as the anthropoids go along one branch, while the descendants of Archicebus achilles go along another.
"The discovery of Archicebus achilles proves that the divergence began at least 55 million years ago." SRC: China News Service (English Version)