Apes and Old World monkeys may have split later than thought | Science News

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Apes and Old World monkeys may have split later than thought

Fossil find resets timing of major event in primate evolution

By
12:35pm, July 14, 2010

A slope-faced, big-toothed creature from the distant past has inspired scientists to recalibrate the ancient evolutionary split between apes and Old World monkeys.

Discoverers of a partial apelike skull in western Saudi Arabia say that it now appears that a poorly understood parting of major primate groups occurred between 29 million and 24 million years ago. A 2004 analysis of DNA from living apes and monkeys in Africa and Asia had estimated an earlier divergence, between 34.5 and 29.2 million years ago.

An intriguing mosaic of features on the newly unearthed fossil, which dates to betw

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