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Named Juramaia sinensis, the fossil is the oldest ever found of a group of animals called the eutherians, or placentals, that give birth to live young.
They include cows, rats, monkeys, lions, tigers, dogs, horses, whales and, of course, our own group of mammals, the primates.
Juramaia, hairy and about the size of a mouse, provides fossil evidence of the date when eutherian mammals diverged from other mammals - metatherians whose descendants include marsupials such as kangaroos and monotremes such as the platypus.
Palaeontologist Dr Zhe-Xi Luo, of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, said: 'Juramaia, from 160 million years ago, is either a great-grand-aunt, or a 'great-grandmother' of all placental mammals that are thriving today.
Originally posted by splittheatom
reply to post by berenike
Actually I think the article is saying that all mammals that give birth the live young, eutherians, descend from this animal. So primates are said to have evolved from this, as well as dogs cats ect...
That's what I figured the article to be talking about, so sorry looks like you have to put up with being evolved from apes until another study comes along.
Originally posted by dashen
We didn't evolve from apes, we evolved from proto-humans, cro-magnons, and neandertals.
If you want to go back far enough our earliest ancestor is yeast.
When it comes to DNA, it turns out there's not that much difference between mice and men.
Mice and humans each have about 30,000 genes, yet only 300 are unique to either organism. Both even have genes for a tail, even though it's not "switched on" in humans.
"About 99 percent of genes in humans have counterparts in the mouse," said Eric Lander, Director of the Whitehead Institute Center for Genomic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Eighty percent have identical, one-to-one counterparts."