Researchers discover 54 Million Years Old Primate Bones in coal mine, Gujarat

Primitive primate bones found in Gujarat confirms evolution of primates

A research team from the Johns Hopkins University and Des Moines University, discovered 54 Million Years Old Primate Bones in a coal mine in Gujarat. It is believed to be the most primitive primate bones, found till date. 25 bones of the small rat-sized animal are belongs to the region below neck. Scientist study the fossil and predicted it to be the oldest.

Their limbs suggested that they were less specialized but used to climb tall rainforest trees showing that India has a major role in the evolution of primates and mammals.

Kenneth Rose, professor emeritus in the Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said “All other primate bones found so far around the world clearly belong to one or the other of the two primate groups, called clades: Strepsirrhini and Haplorhini. But many of the Gujarat bones show features that do not clearly belong to one clade or the other”.

This signifies that the newly found primitive could be descendants of any of the category as the oldest primitive of both the groups have been categorized as adapoids or omomyids with adapoids being oldest primitive of Strepsirrhini and omomyids of Haplorhini, found in North America, Europe and northern Asia, dating 56 million years ago. These primates shows an early age of primate evolution.

Lead author Rachel Dunn, an assistant professor of anatomy at Des Moines University suggests that the changing climate, mammals were wiped from the northern continents. India was once a part of Gondwana land that included today’s Southern Hemisphere, including Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar, and the Australian continent, besides the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian Subcontinent. Gujarat must have those primates when India was a part of Gondwana. This

The discovery has been published in the journal ‘Human Evolution’.

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