Showing posts with label Anthropology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anthropology. Show all posts

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New 55 Million Yr Old Fossil Signals First Primate with Human Like Heal

The new fossil is classified as a Tarsiiformes, like the modern day tarsier above.
“It represents a common ancestor for two major lineages of primates – one of which is the monkeys, apes and man on one side; and the tarsier.” --Northwestern University professor Marian Dagosto

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)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Small Fossil Primate found in Texas

Scale bar equals 2 mm. Photo from Kirk & Williams (2011).
Lingual view (side that touches the tongue) of Mescalerolemur horneri partial mandible. 
Sure they were as small as lemurs, but this was news to us that any type of primate was documented in North America. The other interesting point of this article is the place where the fossils were found, "Devils Graveyard". Geographical nomenclature twith titles like devils, demon, etc are sometimes considered hotspots by bigfooters.

Do you know that fossil primates once roam North America? I didn’t know either so this discovery was a shock and a “d’oh” moment at the same time.
Anywho … A fossil primate from the Eocene Epoch was discovered in Devil’s Graveyard badlands of West Texas by Anthropologists Christopher Kirk and Blythe Williams. Named Mescalerolemur horneri, this new fossil primate lived about 43 million years ago is a member of the extinct group, adapiforms, that are found all over the Northern Hemisphere. Mescalerolemur looked like a modern-day greater dwarf lemur and weighs about 370 grams.
Interestingly enough, Mescalerolemur are more closely related to Eurasian and African adapiforms than those from North America. Darwinius masillae, famously known as Aunt Ida, was a Eurasian adapiform. Another interesting fact to point out is that Mescalerolemur had unfused mandibular symphysis, similar to those of Strepsirrhines (lemurs, lorises and galagos). The authors posit that this is definitive evidence that adapiforms are more similar to Strepsirrhines than Haplorrhines (humans are Haplorrhines). Kirk &Williams (2011) published their findings on Journal of Evolution: New adapiform primate of Old World af´Čünities from the Devil’s Graveyard Formation of Texas (PDF). You can also read more about the discovery at EurekAlert: Anthropologist discovers new fossil primate species in West Texas.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Its an ongoing question. Time Magazine has a new article out today suggesting we made war.

It is one of the world's oldest cold cases. Sometime between 50,000 and 75,000 years ago, a Neanderthal male known to scientists as Shanidar 3 received a wound to his torso, limped back to his cave in what is now Iraq and died several weeks later.

New research suggests that Shanidar 3 may have had a more familiar killer: a human being.

At the time of his death, only humans, who had adapted their hunting techniques to the open plains of Africa, had developed projectile weapons; Neanderthals, who hunted in the close quarters of forests, used thrusting spears. To learn the cause of Shanidar 3's wound, Churchill and his team used a specially designed crossbow to fire stone-age projectiles at precise velocities at pig carcasses (a pig's skin and ribs are believed to be roughly as tough as a Neanderthal's). At kinetic energies consistent with a thrown spear, the pig's rib bore damage resembling Shanidar 3's isolated rib puncture. What's more, Churchill found that the weapon that killed Shanidar 3 entered at about a 45-degree downward angle. Churchill also found that Shanidar 3's rib had started healing before he died. By comparing the wound with wounds documented in medical records from the American Civil War, a time before antibiotics, Churchill hypothesized that Shanidar 3 probably died within a few weeks of the injury.

Others suggest they may have interbred with humans.

Read The full Article here.
Read the competing interbreading theory here.
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