Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
You are viewing: Home > News > Palaeontology > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
Palaeontology

New species of prehistoric fossil ape unearthed

By T.K. Randall
September 10, 2020 · Comment icon 8 comments



The species was a relative of today's gibbons. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Julielangford
Palaeontologists have discovered what is thought to be the earliest known ancestor of the modern-day gibbon.
Unearthed in northern India, the fossil - a lower molar - was discovered by Christopher C. Gilbert of Hunter College, and colleagues, while climbing a small hill near to where a fossil jaw had been unearthed only a few months earlier.

After stopping for a brief rest, Gilbert noticed something interesting on the ground nearby.

"We knew immediately it was a primate tooth, but it did not look like the tooth of any of the primates previously found in the area," he said.

"From the shape and size of the molar, our initial guess was that it might be from a gibbon ancestor, but that seemed too good to be true, given that the fossil record of lesser apes is virtually nonexistent."
"There are other primate species known during that time, and no gibbon fossils have previously been found anywhere near Ramnagar.

"So we knew we would have to do our homework to figure out exactly what this little fossil was."

It turned out that the molar belonged to a whole new species and genus of prehistoric ape which has since been named Kapi ramnagarensis.

"What we found was quite compelling and undeniably pointed to the close affinities of the 13-million-year-old tooth with gibbons," said researcher Alejandra Ortiz.

"Even if, for now, we only have one tooth, and thus, we need to be cautious, this is a unique discovery. It pushes back the oldest known fossil record of gibbons by at least five million years, providing a much-needed glimpse into the early stages of their evolutionary history."

Source: Phys.org | Comments (8)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Jon the frog 2 years ago
Interesting, but just one molar...damn that's not a lot !
Comment icon #2 Posted by Kleng 2 years ago
More than they had before!  
Comment icon #3 Posted by psyche101 2 years ago
It's how the Denisovian's started. And Gigantopithicus. 
Comment icon #4 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 2 years ago
A molar is the best tooth to have. From it you can infer geographical distribution, diet, social system, and even general locomotion. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by Peter B 2 years ago
Do you mind explaining how? Not doubting, just curious.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 2 years ago
Molar cusp pattern will right away tell you if it is a monkey or an ape. Monkeys have 4 cusps while apes have 5 (Known as Y-5 because the cusps form a Y pattern.)  So a Y-5 means it's a catarrhine (old world primate) and an ape and not a playtrrhine (New wolrd monkey) (Primates have ancestors in the Americas, bu they were neither apes nor monkeys yet. Mainly Omomyoids) Morphology shows that this tooth is consistent with stem hylobatids (gibbon genus) and therefore is likely to share similar dietary features as extant Gibbons based on area and past environment. Food resources dictate primate so... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by Peter B 2 years ago
Cool, thank you.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Artaxerxes 2 years ago
Wow!  Great post!  Well done!   Thanks for sharing.  ....  Art


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


Our new book is out now!

The Unexplained Mysteries
Book of Weird News

 AVAILABLE NOW 

Take a walk on the weird side with this compilation of some of the weirdest stories ever to grace the pages of a newspaper.

Click here to learn more

We need your help!

Support us on Patreon

 BONUS CONTENT 

For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can gain access to a wide range of exclusive perks including our popular 'Lost Ghost Stories' series.

Click here to learn more

 Total Posts: 7,368,915    Topics: 303,266    Members: 199,006

 Not a member yet ? Click here to join - registration is free and only takes a moment!
Recent news and articles