STATES CHRONICLE – With human history only accounting for one to two minutes throughout all of Earth’s history, it’s understandable that we have a hard time figuring out everything that took place on the planet since it was first formed. And while it may not be of vital importance, it definitely is something worth learning.
So of course, when scientists find out that something they had thought for ages was completely mistaken, with known facts proven to be off by millions of years, they tend to get a little excited and frustrated at the same time. This is what happened recently, as researchers discovered that new monkey fossils suggest 21 million year old migration.
Understandably, the discovery came as a huge surprise to most of the scientific community, as the previous consensus was that monkeys crossed from South America into North America only four million years ago. So this new piece of evidence might end up overturning many other previously agreed-on theories on biology and anthropology.
The finding came in the form of seven teeth found in a rock in Panama. After they carbon dated the monkey teeth, the scientists realized that all previous theories regarding the arrival on monkeys in North America were wrong. So of course, they started looking for ways to explain the migration, seeing as there was no Panama Isthmus back then, the continents separated by water.
The most likely explanation is that the group of monkeys used a raft of sorts, perhaps even unintentionally, to cross the great water expanse. Apparently this is a not at all uncommon habit, as events like tsunamis, major earthquakes, hurricanes, and others of the sort tend to get clumps of earth and vegetation adrift. And often, animals find themselves on these floating islands.
A similar occurrence is believed to have happened as monkeys made their way from Africa to South America. As soon as the primates got on land, they started spreading out, living their lives as they would have back home. That is, until they died on day and left their teeth trapped in a rock for scientists to find 21 million years later.
Believed to resemble the modern day squirrel monkeys and capuchins, the monkeys that crossed over so long ago were named by the scientists Panamacebus transitus. Of course, seeing as the specimens were primates, researchers are hoping to get more information not only on monkey migration, but also on our own evolutionary history.
Regardless if it yields any anthropological results, the finding is still one of the most important discoveries of the year. It proves that primates have lived on the continent for far longer than anyone believed, and it completely rewrites migration patterns from that particular time period.
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