New Ape Fossil Challenges DNA Evidence

With high-speed DNA sequencing, scientists can look at slight genetic differences among humans, great apes and other primates to arrive at new estimates of when differentancestral groups split. These findings provide invaluable insights into the evolutionary past, especially when the fossil record is sparse, as it is for the period when the ancestors of humans and great apes split from the Cercopithecoidea (or World monkey) lineage tens of millions of years ago. DNA analysis has pegged this split some 35 million to 30 million years ago, but a new fossil specimen challenges that molecular data with rock-hard evidence. Thepartial skullof an ancient primate, dubbed Saadanius hijazensis, seems to have trappings of both the Hominoidea and Cercopithecoidea lines. A group of researchers led by Iyad Zalmout of the Museum of of Paleontology at the University of Michigan asserts thatS. hijazensisis a catarrhine—a member of the common group before the two lineages split. The primate has been dated to the Oligocene between 29 million and 28 million years ago—indicating that the split between Old World monkeys and the ancestors of humans and great apes occurred more recently than genetic evidence has suggested. The researchers used micro-computed tomography to scan the fossil fragments and compare the clues to other known ancestral great apes and Old World monkeys. The skull belonged a male, weighing some 15 to 20 kilograms, with a “snout-like projection of the midface,” and was found in a black-mangrove environment in what is now Saudi Arabia. Although this ancient fragment cannot fill in all of the blanks inthe human evolutionary tree, new primatespeciesfinds in this common, catarrhine line “are crucial for providing a method for recognizing basal hominoids,” the authors concluded. The original research was published today in Nature. [credit: Scientific American] [Ref: Nature ]


About bruceleeeowe
An engineering student and independent researcher. I'm researching and studying quantum physics(field theories). Also searching for alien life.

2 Responses to New Ape Fossil Challenges DNA Evidence

  1. This article was written by Katherine Harmon, not Bruceleeeowee, who copied and pasted it directly out of the Scientific American website.
    Is that even legal?

  2. bruceleeeowe says:

    Hi William,
    it is legal if it is for fair use and since this site is far from being a commercial website. I have given credit too.

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