A small fossilized molar found in the thunderbolt of Tugen Hills thunderous soil belongs to what may be the smallest species of monkey that has been discovered, according to a new study. The newly identified extinct species, Simiolus minutus, weighed only about 8 kilograms or slightly less than the average home-cats.
The miniature monkey, the dwarf of today's gorilla, chimpanzees and orangutans, was potentially a victim of natural selection, incapable of competing with colobinaceous monkeys running on the same leaves on trees some 12.5 million years ago.
"They tried to do what they did to the kolobins, which was stupid because no one had the same equipment," said James Rossie, a paleoprimatologist at Stonebrook University in New York, citing the digestive abilities of the apes. "They brought a knife to the pistols and found that the knife was a plastic picnic."
Dr. In 2004, Rossie found a tooth with his colleague Andrew Hill from the University of Yale. Their findings, recently published in the journal Evolution of Human Evolution, give an insight into one aspect of the arms race between ancient monkeys and monkeys during the mid to late Miocene era 6 to 14 million years ago.
The reason why so many baits, including mother's apes such as Simiolus, are not clear. The prevailing hypothesis is that they died due to the competition of monkeys and environmental changes. Answers from what happened during that period still feels today, because there is only about it 20 species of monkeys, as opposed to more than 130 species of apes from the ancient world in Africa and Asia. However, the destruction of habitats by humans is now the main danger for species from primate groups and the main reason their number has been decreasing lately.
When dr. Rossie found a molar, he and Dr Hill realized that he looked similar to two teeth in a museum that was collected in the 1970s and 1980s. Although they had only three teeth, Dr. Rossie said that the teeth were quite different from what they described as having known the new species.
"It's like finding a collapsed Mars Space Spacecraft in the Arizona desert," said Dr. Rossie. "You do not have to find 12 to know what that means."
Molar was measured at about 0.15 inches. From teeth, Dr. Rossie could extrapolate the size of the new monkey and the size of the body that was smaller than any living or known extinct species. The smallest living monkey is a gibbon that weighs between 10 and 30 kilograms.
By analyzing the shear reefs on the molar, it was found that the species is at least a side-by-side follore or leaf-eater. Earlier they identified the fossils of an early colony monkey on the same site, which led them to suggest that the monkey and monkey compete for food, providing a window in the greater fall of the apes and raising the apes.
"Now we have a clear piece of puzzle," said Dr. Rossie.
Dr. Rossie said that the finding, which lasted 14 years for publication, was a huge day of respect for his co-author and doctor Dr. Hill, who developed leukemia and died in September 2015.
"To be honest, there was a sense in which we did not endeavor to finish it, because the work on this was a recurring reason for the common," said Dr. Rossie.
"It's sad to finish the last thing I'll ever do with it," he said, "but at the same time it gives me a great honor to have done it with him."