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Scientists Find Previously Undiscovered Primate Fossil In Texas

Scientists Find Previously Undiscovered Primate Fossil In Texas

Anthropologists at the University of Texas at Austin say they’ve discovered a previously unknown species of fossil primate in the Devil’s Graveyard badlands of West Texas.

Researchers say the bones discovered at the site belong to Mescalerolemur horneri, a small lemur-like animal belonging to an extinct primate group — the adapiforms — from the Eocene Epoch about 43 million years ago.

“These Texas primates are unlike any other Eocene primate community that has ever been found in terms of the species that are represented,” said physical anthropologist Chris Kirk. “The presence of both Mescalerolemur and Mahgarita, which are only found in the Big Bend region of Texas…is significant because it provides further evidence of faunal interchange between North America and East Asia during the Middle Eocene.”

Researchers say the fossils show Mescalerolemur was a small primate, weighing only about 13 ounces (370 grams). The fossils’ dental anatomy reveals a close evolutionary relationship with adapiform primates from Eurasia and Africa, including a German fossil primate previously claimed to be a human ancestor.

However, the discovery of Mescalerolemur provides further evidence that adapiform primates like Darwinius are more closely related to living lemurs and bush babies than humans.

Mescalerolemur‘s lower jaws were two separate bones with a joint along the midline, a common trait for lemurs while Mahgarita stevensi, the closest fossil relative of Mescalerolemur, had a completely fused jaw joint like that of humans.

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via Futurity

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Image: Mescalerolemur horneri's partial right lower jaw (scale = 2 mm).

Credit: University of Texas at Austin

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54 comments

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2:53PM PDT on Mar 16, 2012

Interesting to say the least. Thanks.

7:54AM PST on Nov 16, 2011

They coulda named it "Rickosius Perrious"

3:08PM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

Linda McKellar: ------- YOU ARE AWESOME!! Fantastic sense of humor!

3:07PM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

I simply cannot pass this one up. Could the DNA possibly make a connection between this find and the George Bush family?

3:54PM PDT on May 31, 2011

@ William G.

"Must be tough trying to prove a falsehood to be true."

Yes it is. All those who believe in the invisible man in the sky are finding it increasingly difficult to find ways to cling on to that silly nonsense. Evolution has been proven time and time again. It is a fact, pure and simple, but those religiots just can't deal with facts. They need to cling on desperately to those silly stories in their silly books.

It's the 21st century. You'd think they'd manage to have caught up with the rest of us by now.

7:43PM PDT on May 27, 2011

What another missing link found? I thought there was only one, but they seem to find them everywhere. Isn't this the third in the last two years? Must be tough trying to prove a falsehood to be true.

11:26AM PDT on May 26, 2011

It was actually the jaw of a homo erectus redneckus Bushii. They still abound and haven't evolved since the earth was created just 5000 years ago. One was even President recently.

3:15AM PDT on May 26, 2011

Wow, they found Rick Perry's jaw!

11:26PM PDT on May 25, 2011

wow !!!!!!!!!!!

8:45PM PDT on May 25, 2011

Ty.

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