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Fossil find sparks debate on primate origins

A 37-million-year-old jaw raises questions about primate evolution and about a highly publicized primate fossil

Pieces of ancient primates can still pack a surprising punch. Consider a 37-million-year-old lower jaw that still sports many of its teeth and was found in Africa by paleontologist Erik Seiffert of Stony Brook University in New York and his colleagues. This newly unearthed creature had skeletal features that resembled those of higher primates, but it didn’t belong to the lineage that led to higher primates, Seiffert’s team reports in the Oct. 22 Nature.

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