HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Scientist challenges interpretation of new find, the oldest primate fossil ever discovered

CHICAGO--A skull and jawbones recently found in China is the oldest well-preserved primate fossil ever discovered as well as the best evidence of the presence of early primates in Asia. But the fossil raises the tantalizing possibility that remote human ancestors may have originated in Asia and stirs up debate about the nature of early primates.

In the words of Robert D. Martin, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Chicago's Field Museum, "It was once thought that primates originated in North America because that's where the earliest fossils were found initially; but we should be more open-minded. We still do not know the area of origin of the primate lineage that eventually led to humans, and this new find firmly brings Asia into the picture."

Xijun Ni and colleagues describe the fossil as Teilhardina asiatica, a new species of a genus first recognized from Belgium, in the Jan. 1, 2004, issue of Nature. At 28 grams, T. asiatica is smaller than any modern primate, and its size and sharp tooth cusps indicate that it was an insect-eater.

But a "News & Views" commentary in the same issue of Nature by Dr. Martin disagrees with part of the authors' interpretation of their new find.

Based on T. asiatica's small eye sockets relative to skull length, Ni and colleagues maintain that the small predator was diurnal (active during the day). Dr. Martin, on the other hand, says there is no compelling evidence from the fossil to shake the traditional belief that the common ancestor of primates, and early representatives such as members of the genus Teilhardina, were nocturnal (active at night).

"I disagree with the authors on both statistical and biological grounds," Dr. Martin says. "They excluded significant data in their analysis, and they did not adequately account for certain biological features, including the very large opening on the snout for the nerve connecting with the whiskers, which are best developed in nocturnal m
'"/>

Contact: Greg Borzo
gborzo@fieldmusuem.org
312-665-7106
Field Museum
31-Dec-2003


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Scientists to prototype cyberinfrastructure for research and education access to ocean observatories
2. Scientists sequence genome of kind of organism central to biospheres carbon cycle
3. Scientists find nanowires capable of detecting individual viruses
4. Scientists discover potential new way to control drug-resistant bacteria
5. Scientists explore genome of methane-breathing microbe
6. Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
7. Stuck on you: Scientists lay bare secrets of bacterial attachment proteins
8. Scientists discover proteins involved in spread of HIV-1 infection
9. Scientists fear new Ebola outbreak may explain sudden gorilla disappearance
10. Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
11. Scientists visualise cellular handmaiden that restores shape to proteins

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 25, 2021 , ... Phlexglobal announced ... Planet Group, has selected Phlexglobal and its innovative regulatory SaaS software, PhlexSubmission, as ... a comprehensive review of five regulatory software companies, with the review team including ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... 25, 2021 , ... The 2021 Virtual Conference on Clinical Trial Supply-Europe ... More and more, clinical trial supply conferences are featuring speakers and forums that ... Asymmetrex’s founder and CEO, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., presented a talk ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... ... March 23, 2021 , ... G-CON Manufacturing (G-CON), the ... by Matica Biotechnology (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing ... the cleanroom build out for its new GMP production facility in College Station, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ... Life Sciences and Healthcare firms of all sizes, adds depth to its team ... specialist. Pardillo, who earned his doctorate in computational chemistry from Florida International University ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ABI Wellness, ... and reporting approach designed under CEO Mark Watson, today announced a webinar dedicated ... featuring guest speakers Dr. Cameron Clark, Neuropsychologist and Founder of Sharp Thinking, and ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... ... The Xtalks editorial team is pleased to announce the launch of the ... joined by editorial team members Ayesha Rashid, Sydney Perelmutter and Mira Nabulsi to discuss ... including insights from industry experts. , The Xtalks Life Science podcast will feature ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2021 , ... ... develops solutions for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, recently unveiled ... applications. , Not all microbes are created equal: some are easy to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: