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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

47-million-year-old Primate Fossil Displayed

Scientists put on display a 47-million-year-old fossilized primate on Tuesday calling it one of the oldest and most complete skeletons of an early primate found to date. Called Darwinius masillae, the primate estimated to be about 9 or 10 months of age, died at the margin of a volcanic lake in a rain forest about 20 kilometres south of modern-day Frankfurt, Germany, near the town of Messel. "We do not interpret Darwinius as anthropoid, but the adapoid primates it represents deserve more careful comparison with higher primates than they have received in the past," the scientists who are studying the fossil wrote in the scientific journal PLoS One. "She tells so many stories. We have just started the research on this fabulous specimen,"said researcher Jorn Hurum of the University of Oslo Natural History Museum.

Source: CBC