A big amount of fossils were found at southern China allowing researchers to solve a paradox on the evolution of primates.

The finding reveals primates emerged in Asia and thanks to climate changes the developing of the species shifted and changed the evolution of monkeys, apes, and human ancestors to Africa.

New fossil found
The study was comprised of a group of teammates found six fossils of new species that date back to 34 million years ago in China. Image Credit: Science News

The research published at the journal Science helps understand why the primate developed in Africa but started in Asia.

Filling a gap in the evolutionary paradox

The study was led and co-authored by Christopher Beard. It consisted of a group of teammates found six fossils of new species that date back to 34 million years ago in China.  The group found tooth and jaw fragments of the primates.

Beard explained that finding fossils can enlighten the way of life in this ancient times to get a better understanding into primate and human evolution.

Different scientist have found a large amount of primate fossils in that southern Asia location, thanks to the climate temperature it had 34 million years ago that allowed primates, to remain comfortable enough.

“ It was located far enough to the south that it remained warm enough during the cold, dry time that primates could still survive there. They crowded into the limited space that remained available to them,” said Christopher Beard, senior curator at the University of Kansas ‘Biodiversity Institute’ in a press release.

This primates lived in the Eocene period where the environment was in a greenhouse state that allowed primates to remain in their warm temperatures.

Yet, on the Oligocene period cold temperatures caused some primates to migrate to locations such as Europe, North America and different parts of Asia. In addition, they ended up extinct thanks to a wold cooling that happend around 32 million years.

The world cooling also affected that northern part of Asia and made it unbearable for primates to survive. Yet some managed to get to Africa where the species eventually evolved.

A vast amount of African primate fossils has been collected through the years and modern scientist have an understanding of how their evolution went in the continent. The findings of this new fossils allows a better understanding of the developing on the Asian continent.

The team has also stated the importance of this findings on the species and in today’s climate environment. Assuring that primates 34 million years ago, were just as sensitive to climate changes, than today’s species.

Source: Science