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Out of Asia? New Primate Fossils Pose Origin Riddle

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posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 06:29 PM
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Out of Asia? New Primate Fossils Pose Origin Riddle
(wired.com)

From: An Asian Origin for Human Ancestors?
(sciencemag.org)

A recent number of fossil discoveries suggest that upright primates that eventually led to humans originated not in Africa but Asia, and crossed over to the African continent around 40 million years ago.



Researchers agree that our immediate ancestors, the upright walking apes, arose in Africa. But the discovery of a new primate that lived about 37 million years ago in the ancient swamplands of Myanmar bolsters the idea that the deep primate family tree that gave rise to humans is rooted in Asia. If true, the discovery suggests that the ancestors of all monkeys, apes, and humans—known as the anthropoids—arose in Asia and made the arduous journey to the island continent of Africa almost 40 million years ago.




posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 06:55 PM
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Interesting. S&F. Thanks, but be careful here. These articles do not claim that "upright primates" originated anywhere but Africa. The primate they are referring to was the size of a chipmunk and the fossil evidence consists of four teeth. There is no skeleton that would indicate anything remotely resembling upright posture. And if we did have a skeleton, it would look more like a rat than what we commonly think of as a primate.

So the "Out of Africa" theory still holds, corroborated by both fossil and DNA evidence. It's just that the predecessors to them may have come from Asia.
edit on 6/5/2012 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 07:17 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


Point taken - the article only states the finds "bolster the idea" of an "Out of Asia" alternative to the "Out of Africa" theory, but doesn't suggest anything beyond that. Obviously this is a very, very, tentative theory.



posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 07:36 PM
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I also don't know if I would trust Myanmar. I don't think they let the international scientific community into their country in any big way, please correct me if I am wrong, and in that context I could see their scientists trying to increase Myanmar's prestige by trying to lay claim to their land having something to do with the origin of mankind.

On the other hand, I don't think we know the full story of the human family and it is quite possible that the out of Africa theory is flawed or incomplete.
edit on 5-6-2012 by Mkoll because: (no reason given)



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