German Fossil Found to Be Early Primate

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Fossil remains of a 47-million-year-old animal, found years ago in Germany, have been analyzed more thoroughly and determined to be an extremely early primate close to the emergence of the evolutionary branch leading to monkeys, apes and humans, scientists said in interviews this week.

Described as the “most complete fossil primate ever discovered,” the specimen is a juvenile female the size of a small monkey. Only the left lower limb is missing, and the preservation is so remarkable that impressions of fur and the soft body outline are still clear. The animal’s last meal, of fruit and leaves, remained in the stomach cavity.

In an article to be published on Tuesday in PLoS One, an online scientific journal, an international team of scientists will report that this extraordinary fossil could be a “stem group” from which higher primates evolved, “but we are not advocating this.”

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Randll Reese Besch - 5/20/2009

Lemurs are our pro-simian and simian precursors after all. It never hurts to have more proof of that though. Creationist/I.D.'ers beware!