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Tanzania Fossils May Pinpoint Critical Split Between Apes and Monkeys

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the jesus-rode-dinosaurs dept.

Science 25

sciencehabit writes "From the human perspective, few events in evolution were more momentous than the split among primates that led to apes (large, tailless primates such as today's gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans) and Old World monkeys (which today include baboons and macaques). DNA studies of living primates have estimated that the rift took place between 25 million and 30 million years ago, but the earliest known fossils of both groups date no earlier than 20 million years ago. Now, a team working in Tanzania has found teeth and partial jaws from what it thinks are 25-million-year-old ancestors of both groups. If the interpretations hold up (abstract), the finds would reconcile the molecular and fossil evidence and possibly provide insights into what led to the split in the first place."

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This is completely irrelevant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43734991)

I hate every ape Isee.

Re:This is completely irrelevant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43735003)

From chimpan-A to chimpan-Z.

Re:This is completely irrelevant... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43735037)

I hope you avoid mirrors.

Re:This is completely irrelevant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43735115)

"When you see your likeness, you are happy. But when you see your images that came into being before you..."

Re:This is completely irrelevant... (1)

IwantToKeepAnon (411424) | about a year ago | (#43735397)

I hate every ape Isee.

I LOVE you Dr. Zaius! (oh, oh, oh, Dr. Zaius)

Re:This is completely irrelevant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43735739)

"I hate every ape I see."

Ooooook!

Re:This is completely irrelevant... (1, Offtopic)

flyneye (84093) | about a year ago | (#43736713)

My step-dad hated every ape and monkey. I remember a trip to the zoo as a child. Rhesus monkeys were kept on an island with a play castle and a mote with a 15 ft wall surrounding the mote. He chewed plug tobacco. Reaching in his pockets he withdrew a "cake" of "Days Work" and a pocket knife. He cut a plug approx. .5" x .5" and threw it to the monkeys on the island. They fought like Vikings for the prize and the winner climbed to the peak of the castle to eat his plug. Soon he was hanging by one arm and foot, wobbling dizzily, he toppled to the beach. In a few minutes he was back in the fray for another plug of tobacco.

          I'm fine with keeping monkeys and apes in the wild. I lost my taste for that side of the zoo when I went through a section of Orangutans in their playground, behind thick glass. A 10ish year old girl was trying to figure out what the funny munky was doing, when he blew his load on the glass, right where her face was.
I can understand his hate for apes and monkeys, but don't share his zeal. On the other hand it would be a kick to hear Charlton Hesston narrate the above article.

Re:This is completely irrelevant... (0)

Scarletdown (886459) | about a year ago | (#43737167)

I lost my taste for that side of the zoo when I went through a section of Orangutans in their playground, behind thick glass. A 10ish year old girl was trying to figure out what the funny munky was doing, when he blew his load on the glass, right where her face was.

In the immortal words of Slappy Squirrel, "Now DAT's comedy!"

Re:This is completely irrelevant... (3, Interesting)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#43737223)

I'm not terribly fond of the ape section myself, though not for quite the same reason, I just find it mildly depressing. I mean come on, what would you do if imprisoned in a small room for years on end for no reason? You pass the time as best you can and fuck with the assholes who come to gawk at you in your cell.

On the other hand I found they tend to respond far more strongly than most other animals if you approach the displays as you might if they were people in a debtors prison or hospital or something. Display compassion, respect, and a general recognition of them as individuals in a bad situation, especially during times when traffic is low and they've had a chance to mellow out, and many will respond quite dramatically. I've shared extended moments communing with a grizzled old capuchin pressing his hand against mine through the glass, or just sharing space with a gorrilla who came over to sit beside me while she ate. Or playing for a while making faces and doing handstands and the like with an ape who wasn't having any luck coaxing his companions to play. Of course you do encounter the sullen, aggressive, or just plain dickish individuals as well, but I think that's only to be expected considering they've pretty much all either been kidnapped from their wild homes or spent their entire lives in front of a parade of noisy assholes.

Re:This is completely irrelevant... (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#43737687)

I grew up in Traverse City, MI, a tourist town which also used to have the largest mental institution in the Midwest. When my dad was young (1940s-50s) the hospital used to conduct tours for people who wanted to see the 'loonies'. The most popular were always the 'bubble head kids' (the hydrocephalic children), and the schizophrenics talking to themselves. If they were very lucky they could witness someone undergoing electroshock 'therapy'.

Re:This is completely irrelevant... (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#43737909)

Yeah, that sounds about like how I tend to view the apehouse (the whole zoo, really), and many of the people that visit them.

I'll speak up in defense of electroshock therapy though - while it certainly seems to deserve the quotes in many cases, especially historically, it does seem to be the appropriate treatment in some cases. Or at least the best our still crude neuro-psychological field has so far developed. For example, there was a moving TED talk a while back by a professor whose life was destroyed by severe depression(?) that resisted all other attempts at treatment, but who managed to rebuild himself with the help of electroshock therapy. Using it on unwilling patients on the other hand... but then I find the idea of any form of involuntary psychological modification deeply disturbing, electroshock is just a lot more dramatic and painful looking than the more "acceptable" drug-stupored half-life.

Re:This is completely irrelevant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43739411)

This what really separates them from the other animals.
These monkeys hate.
http://www.ernestcline.com/spokenword/dance.htm

Hmmmm..... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43735055)

Tanzania Fossils May Pinpoint Critical Split Between Apes and Monkeys

Why go to Tanzania when the missing links can still be found on Capitol Hill?

Re:Hmmmm..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43735319)

I thought that the apes on Capitol Hill belonged to the Old World monkey class.

Re:Hmmmm..... (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43735683)

Tanzania Fossils May Pinpoint Critical Split Between Apes and Monkeys

Why go to Tanzania when the missing links can still be found on Capitol Hill?

Obviously, when confronted with two possible sites for an experiment, you go for the safer and saner option.

Re:Hmmmm..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43739051)

For ethical reasons.

Relation to Ida? (5, Interesting)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | about a year ago | (#43735317)

This is very interesting - I just finished reading The Link by Colin Tudge, et al (You can get it here [amazon.com] . I definitely recommend reading it if you are even vaguely interested in paleontology). In it, they discuss Ida, a specimen found in Germany's Messel pit, which is believed to be closely related to the first common ancestor between anthropoids (Old & New World apes, hominids) and other simians (lemurs, tarsiers, etc). If the claim made in the article is true, the discovered species would be contemporary with our ancestor living after Ida but before hominids separated from apes. A really great find! I wonder what a comparison between Ida and this new species will reveal. Mind you, that may never happen, since Ida is a very complete fossil and all they found here were teeth and fragments.

Re:Relation to Ida? (1)

Kittenman (971447) | about a year ago | (#43736149)

This is very interesting - I just finished reading The Link by Colin Tudge, et al (You can get it here [amazon.com] . I definitely recommend reading it .

FWIW - thank for the link.

Disappointed (-1, Troll)

OakDragon (885217) | about a year ago | (#43735875)

Came here to mod down "but teh earth is only 6000 years old, har, har!" comments... what, none yet?!

Re:Disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43736137)

I came here to read them too, but all we got was a Seattle Republicans joke.

Re:Disappointed (1, Informative)

Scarletdown (886459) | about a year ago | (#43736479)

Patience, padawan. The discussion is still young. In time, the Young Earthers will arise here to spout their silly little myth.

Re:Disappointed (0)

OakDragon (885217) | about a year ago | (#43738063)

You misunderstand me. Now, the student has become the master!

Boogawooga, isn’t that a monkey? (1)

zarmanto (884704) | about a year ago | (#43739729)

If it doesn’t have a tail, it’s not a monkey
Even if it has a monkey kinda shape
If it doesn’t have a tail, it’s not a monkey
If it doesn’t have a tail
It’s not a monkey, it’s an ape!

Re:Boogawooga, isn’t that a monkey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43739853)

So, if you repeat yourself it makes you more right?

Re:Boogawooga, isn’t that a monkey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43750633)

I thought it was a song, or a rhyme.

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