HomeEvolutionExtinct 'monkey lemur' exhibits similarities to human fossils

Extinct ‘monkey lemur’ exhibits similarities to human fossils

Extinct 'monkey lemur' shows similarities to fossil humans
Archaeolemur cranium exhibiting a big and sturdy anterior dentition 2. Credit score: Ian Towle

Evaluation of tooth of extinct lemurs has revealed fascinating clues to the evolution of people, a College of Otago research has discovered.

Lead creator Dr. Ian Towle, of the Sir John Walsh Analysis Institute within the School of Dentistry, says the “surprisingly massive” monkey lemur, Archaeolemur, had novel anatomical options not seen in residing lemurs, equivalent to missing a “tooth comb” within the entrance of the mouth for grooming.

“These extinct lemurs are so totally different to these alive as we speak. Additionally they present fascinating similarities to monkeys and apes, together with people,” he says.

The research, revealed within the American Journal of Organic Anthropology, aimed to evaluate the food plan of Archaeolemur by analyzing chipping in 447 tooth, evaluating chipping frequencies to these of different primates.

The outcomes have been shocking—with these outstanding extinct lemurs with dentitions resembling baboons in form; however presenting tooth chipping patterns just like fossil hominins equivalent to Neanderthals.

“Archaeolemur tooth chipping patterns are not like any residing primate, with their entrance tooth exhibiting substantial fractures, typically with quite a few tooth chips on a single tooth, but little or no chipping on their again tooth.

“Comparable tooth fracture patterns are noticed in fossil hominins, equivalent to Neanderthals. Usually, in Neanderthals these fracture patterns are considered associated to tool-use behaviors,” Dr. Towle says.

The outcomes match with earlier analysis on Archaeolemur, particularly proof that their massive and sturdy entrance tooth might have been used to course of a food plan containing exhausting and difficult meals.

Dr. Towle thinks the research raises the “fascinating chance” that stone instruments don’t essentially clarify the excessive fee of fractures on Neanderthal tooth.

“Archaeolemur exhibits comparable tooth chipping patterns, but there isn’t any proof to counsel they have been able to, or used, such instruments.

“Finding out extinct primates not solely supplies essential perception into their food plan and conduct, but additionally elucidates our personal evolutionary historical past.”

Given the overlap in cranium and dental form, and potential similarities in food plan and conduct, it’s maybe not shocking that Archaeolemur was considered an ape when first found in Madagascar over 100 years in the past.

“Archaeolemur is a superb instance of convergent evolution, exhibiting outstanding similarities to monkeys and apes. This species additionally highlights the extent to which lemurs in Madagascar diversified into a wide range of ecological niches.”

Extra data:
Ian Towle et al, Tooth chipping patterns in Archaeolemur present perception into food plan and conduct, American Journal of Organic Anthropology (2022). DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.24674

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College of Otago

Extinct ‘monkey lemur’ exhibits similarities to human fossils (2022, December 12)
retrieved 13 December 2022
from https://phys.org/information/2022-12-extinct-monkey-lemur-similarities-human.html

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