Photo: National Academy of Sciences
Anthropologists have discovered teeth of an extinct species of monkey living in North-West Kenya 22 million years ago. The discovery helped fill a gap in the evolutionary history of primates, including humans, as well as to suggest what conditions could lead to formation of teeth of the modern type in monkeys and humans. About what reported in a press release on Phys.org.
The researchers conducted excavations in the Western Tulane — African region characterized by the presence of a large number of fossils covering the period from 19 to 25 million years ago. At that time there were forests populated by different species of animals, including monkeys. Scientists have found fossils, including the remains of reptiles and mammals, in particular elephants.
Teeth belonging to an unknown APE, have a number of primitive features that allowed us to take her to a new kind of extinct primates called Alophia metios. So, the molars were absent LoFi — ridges on the occlusal surfaces of the teeth.
Because of this characteristic, some scientists initially suggested that there were found remains of pigs, and not monkeys. Diet Alfie had to include hard fruits, seeds and nuts. The researchers put forward the hypothesis that the inclusion of leaves in diet that occurred later led to the development of teeth in primates, including humans.
On the age of the fossils took place between the previously discovered tooth with age, 19 million years old, found in Uganda, and the tooth from Tanzania, are dated 25 million years.
Video, photo All from Russia.