Navigation Links
Discovery of a primate more than 11 million years old
Date:4/21/2010

Catalan researchers have discovered in the rubbish dump of Can Mata in the Valls-Peneds basin (Catalonia) a new species of Pliopithecus primate, considered an extinct family of primitive Catarrhini primates (or "Old World monkeys"). The fragments of jaw and molars found in this large site demonstrate that Pliopithecus canmatensis belongs to this group, which includes the first Catarrhini that dispersed from Africa to Eurasia.

Named Pliopithecus canmatensis, in honour of the place they were discovered in Catalonia, the new fossil species sheds light on the evolution of the superfamily of the Pliopithecoidea, primates that include various genera of basal Catarrhini, a group that diverged before the separation of the two current superfamilies of the group: the cercopithecoids (Old World monkeys) and the hominoids (anthromorphs and humans); and which prospered in Eurasia during the Early and Late Miocene (between 23.5 and 5.3 million years ago).

"Based on the anatomical, palaeobiographical and biostratigraphic information available, the most probable evolutionary scenario for this group is that the Pliopithecoidea were the first Catarrhini to disperse from Africa to Eurasia, where they experienced an evolutionary radiation in a continent initially deserted of other anthropoids (apes)", David Alba, main author of the study and researcher at the Catalan Institute for Palaeontology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), explains to SINC.

The analysis of the dental pieces and the fragments of jaw discovered on the Catalan site has been published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

According to the conclusions of the study, the new species belongs to the subfamily of the pliopithecines, which could have originated from an ancestor called the dionsisopithecine in Asia, from where they would have dispersed into Europe at the end of the Early Miocene (some 15 million years ago).

"On the Iberian Peninsula, the Pliopithecoidea have only been recorded in the Valls-Peneds basin, where they are represented by pliopithecines and crouzelines", Alba confirms. During the Middle Miocene the crouzelines could have evolved locally in Europe from a pliopithecine ancestor, and dispersed into Asia afterwards, during the Late Miocene (some 10 million years ago). For the researchers, a greater knowledge of the palaeobiodiversity of the group will help to clarify the relationship between the three known subfamilies.

In search of clues

Another clue to clarify the relationships within this group is the recent discovery in China of a new genus and species of Pliopithecoidea, some 15 or 16 million years old and corresponding "probably" to a basal member of the crouzelines.

"This could indicate that the pliopithecines and crouzelines went to Asia before dispersing into Europe", points out the palaeontologist.

Although the relationship between the Pliopithecoidea and the rest of the Catarrhini is still not very clear, the former retain some very primitive characteristics. "However, in contrast to the Platyrrhini (New World monkeys), the Pliopithecoidea only present two premolars, meaning they can be considered as Catarrhini", Alba explains.

According to the new study, some characteristics derived from the dentition suggest that these animals are a 'clade' (monophyletic group) which, based on an African ancestor that migrated to Eurasia during the Early Miocene, was the first to radiate in this continent.


'/>"/>

Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Research discovery may lead to advances in heart disease and cancer treatment
2. New drug design technique could dramatically speed discovery process
3. Human fossil discovery -- evidence of new Homo species
4. Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund awards health research program grants
5. New discovery is a significant boost to cancer research
6. Queens University professors chemistry discovery may revolutionize cooking oil production
7. Discovery that PARP protein exists in all breast tumors will help target chemo and predict response
8. Chance discovery leads to plant breeding breakthrough
9. A-maize-ing discovery could lead to higher corn yields for food, feed and fuel
10. African bird discovery proves there is something new under the sun
11. Discovery in legumes could reduce fertilizer use, aid environment: Stanford researchers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Discovery of a primate more than 11 million years old
(Date:4/28/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO and BANGALORE, India ... part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... service provider, today announced a global partnership that ... convenient way to use mobile banking and payment services. ... Mobility is a key innovation area for financial services, but ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... April 20, 2016 The new ... a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door ... reader or the door interface with integration authorization management ... control systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control ... the building installations offer considerable freedom of design with ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central Florida ... telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi.   ... can routinely track key health measurements, such as blood ... they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians through ... location at no cost. By leveraging this data, IMPOWER ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... CLEVELAND , June 27, 2016  Global ... average 4.6 percent through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  ... (food and beverages, cleaning products, biofuel production, animal ... and biotechnology, diagnostics, and biocatalysts). Food and beverages ... gains driven by increasing consumption of products containing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the leading software as ... Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and video ... trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a face ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... --  Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism design ... awarded as one of the World Economic Forum,s ... innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology to ... in the nutrition, health and consumer goods sectors. ... including Fortune 500 companies to design microbes for ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in ... peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on ... biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: