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Paris, 5 December 2013

Fossil primate shakes up history of strepsirrhines

Fossils discovered in Tunisia challenge several hypotheses concerning the origin of tooth-combed primates (Malagasy lemurs, Afro-Asian lorises and African galagos). The fossils are of a small primate called Djebelemur, which lived around 50 million years ago. They were discovered by a French-Tunisian team from the Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution in Montpellier (CNRS/Université Montpellier 2/IRD) and the Office National des Mines (ONM) in Tunis. According to the paleontologists, Djebelemur was probably a transitional form leading to the appearance of tooth-combed primates. However, according to genetic data, these primates appeared at least 15 million years earlier. Djebelemur therefore challenges the hypotheses put forward by molecular biology. The work, which has just been published in Plos One, makes it possible to reconstruct a chapter in the evolutionary history of this lineage. In addition, it may help to refine genetic models.

To download the press release : Lemuriens

References:

Djebelemur, a Tiny Pre-tooth-combed Primate from the Eocene of Tunisia: a Glimpse into the Origin of Crown Strepsirhines
Laurent Marivaux, Anusha Ramdarshan, El Mabrouk Essid, Wissem Marzougui, Hayet Khayati Ammar, Renaud Lebrun, Bernard Marandat, Gilles Merzeraud, Rodolphe Tabuce, Monique Vianey-Liaud
Published in Plos One, 4 December 2013

Contact information:

CNRS researcher l Laurent Marivaux l T +33 4 67 14 49 11 l Laurent.Marivaux@univ-montp2.fr
CNRS Press Office l Muriel Ilous l T +33 1 44 96 43 09 l muriel.ilous@cnrs-dir.fr


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