May 21, 2009

Primates are Ass-Kickin'

Humans are primates. You are a primate. Your momma is a primate. That is not an insult (unless you're ignorant). In our classification of all living things, we are lumped in with the primates. There are different kinds of primate categories, some containing a variety of animal species, and some with just one member. Here they are for your perusal.



The AYE-AYE (a very odd looking animal)

GALAGOS (also known as "bush babies")



and APES (the group humans belong to, along with Orangutans, Gorillas, and Chimpanzees)

Scientists have studied the fossil record and account for many many more primate species that are now extinct. Recently, one such fossil was discovered (see image below) which seems to be an in-between species, linking. . .

the evolutionary split between higher primates such as monkeys, apes, and humans and their more distant relatives such as lemurs. ( National Geographic )

The fossil record is constantly being updated and filled in and it is wonderful to see that new species are constantly being discovered. Life is omnipresent, once it begins, and the varieties are as endless as the environments they inhabit. The 49 million year old fossil above, named "IDA," is very highly preserved.
"From this time period there are very few fossils, and they tend to be an isolated tooth here or maybe a tailbone there," Richmond explained. "So you can't say a whole lot of what that [type of fossil] represents in terms of evolutionary history or biology."
In Ida's case, scientists were able to examine fossil evidence of fur and soft tissue and even picked through the remains of her last meal: fruits, seeds, and leaves.
Ida, properly known as Darwinius masillae, has a unique anatomy. The lemur-like skeleton features primate-like characteristics, including grasping hands, opposable thumbs, clawless digits with nails, and relatively short limbs.

-FUPPETS- would like to thank fugazifan, one of the primo bad-asses at the Sonic Youth Gossip Forum, for providing the link to this article.

No comments: