The mission of the Section of Vertebrate Paleontology at Carnegie Museum of Natural History is to expand the scientific understanding of fossil vertebrates through original research, to collect and preserve vertebrate fossils through field exploration and curation of our fossil collection, and to participate in science education through museum exhibitions, public education, and scientific lectures.
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Fossil Discovery Sheds New Light on Evolutionary History of Higher Primates
An international team of researchers has announced the discovery of Afrasia djijidae, a new fossil primate from Myanmar that illuminates a critical step in the evolution of early anthropoids—the group that includes humans, apes, and monkeys. The 37-million-year-old Afrasia closely resembles another early anthropoid, Afrotarsius libycus, recently discovered at a site of similar age in the Sahara Desert of Libya. The close similarity between Afrasia and Afrotarsius indicates that early anthropoids colonized Africa only shortly before the time when these animals lived. The colonization of Africa by early anthropoids was a pivotal step in primate and human evolution, because it set the stage for the later evolution of more advanced apes and humans there. Click here to read full press release.