Primates preferred staying in Texas, reveals 40-mln-yr old fossilOctober 15th, 2008 - 1:18 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Oct 15 (ANI): The discovery of a new fossil in the US has suggested that more than 40 million years ago, primates preferred Texas to northern climates that were significantly cooling.
Discovered by Chris Kirk from The University of Texas at Austin and Blythe Williams from Duke University, the primate is known by the scientific name of Diablomomys dalquesti.
It is a new genus and species of primate that dates to 44 - 43 million years ago when tropical forests and active volcanoes covered west Texas.
During the early part of the Eocene epoch, primates were common in the tropical forests that covered most of North America. Over time, however, climatic cooling caused a dramatic decline in the abundance and diversity of North American primates.
By the end of the Eocene, primates and most tropical species had almost disappeared from North America.
Kirks discovery of late middle Eocene (Uintan) primates at the Devils Graveyard Formation in Southwest Texas reveals new information about how North American primates evolved during this period of faunal (animal) reorganization.
After several years of collecting new fossils, reviewing Texas primate community and comparing it to other places in North America, we found a much more diverse group of primate species in Texas than we expected, Kirk said.
It seems that primates stuck around in Texas much longer than many other parts of the continent because the climate stayed warm for a longer period of time, he added
While primate diversity was falling off precipitously in places like Utah and Wyoming during the late middle Eocene, west Texas provided a humid, tropical refuge for primates and other arboreal (tree-inhabiting) animals, he further added. (ANI)
- Human ancestors 'colonized' Africa 39 mn yrs ago - Oct 28, 2010
- Global warming 50 mln yrs ago spurred biodiversity boom in western North America - Aug 07, 2009
- Drop in CO2 triggered polar ice sheet formation - Dec 02, 2011
- Claimed "missing link" between humans and early primates refuted by scientists - Mar 03, 2010
- Global warming 300mn years ago 'triggered the arrival of the dinos' - Nov 30, 2010
- World's five hotspots of biodiversity - Mar 03, 2012
- Global warming threat to tropical rainforests exaggerated - Nov 14, 2010
- Largest-ever fossil spider from Jurassic era found - Apr 21, 2011
- Gigantic new turtle fossil discovered - Jul 12, 2012
- Global warming 60m years ago improved Tropical forest diversity - Nov 12, 2010
- Palaeontologists Unearth New Primate In Egypt - May 12, 2010
- Climate change could wipe out rarest forests - Mar 20, 2012
- Two held for smuggling rare animals - Sep 07, 2011
- Fossils of bird-like dinosaurs discovered in Australia - May 18, 2012
- New, exotic African mistletoe discovered just in time for Christmas - Dec 20, 2010
Tags: active volcanoes, blythe, devils graveyard, diverse group, dramatic decline, duke university, eocene epoch, genus and species, kirks, million years, northern climates, old fossil, primate diversity, primate species, primates, southwest texas, tropical forests, tropical refuge, tropical species, university of texas at austin