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Discovered Fossils Of Torrejonia Tiny Tree Dwellers Confirmed As The Earliest Primates

By Jaden Jane | May 31, 2017 03:41 AM EDT

Fossils of tiny tree dwellers were discovered by archeologists. The discovery leads to confirmed the idea that the tiny tree dwellers were Earth's earliest primates.

Phys.org reported that earth's earliest primates were confirmed to have lived in treetops instead of living on the ground. In New Mexico, an oldest known primate skeleton was found dates back 62 million years ago.

Thomas Williamson discovered the fossils of the earliest primates in the San Juan Basin, New Mexico along with his twin sons, Taylor and Ryan. The earliest primate is known as the torrejonia or a small mammal from a group of plesiadapid forms primates. Based on the skeleton and fossils found, the torrejonia has featured in climbing and living in trees like flexible joints.

According to NPR, the exact origin of the earliest primates is way back about 55 million years ago and includes the group of monkeys, apes, and humans. Before the scientists found the fossils of the torrejonia, the Archicebus Achilles is the existing earliest primate.

Unlike the torrejonia, the A. Achilles is a long-tailed monkey which has lived 10 million years ago after the dinosaurs died out. Now, the latest found fossils of the torrejonia suggest that it is the earliest primates than the A. Achilles.

However, both of them were confirmed as tree-dwellers according to the statement of lead author Stephen Chester, assistant professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. "The torrejonia is the oldest partial skeleton of a plesiadapid form, it also shows that as the earliest primates, they undoubtedly lived in trees."

Stephen Chester further explained that currently, they already have anatomical evidence from the shoulder to the elbow, hip, knee and up to the ankle joints which allowed them to assess that the earliest primates were tree dwellers. He said that the fossils and skeletons found are far better than only teeth and jaws.

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