Archicebus achilles: World's Oldest Primate

Humanity, meet your new grandpa:

A tiny, insect-eating animal with slender limbs, a long tail and weighing in at no more than 30 grams, has become the earliest known primate in the fossil record. Archicebus achilles lived on a humid, tropical lake shore 55m years ago in what is now China and is the ancestor of all modern tarsiers, monkeys, apes and humans.

Scientists found the fossil, whose name translates as "ancient monkey", in the Hubei province of China about a decade ago but it hasn't received detailed analysis until now.

About 7cm long, Archicebus lived in the trees and its small, pointed teeth are evidence that its diet consisted of insects. The fossil's large eye sockets indicate a creature with good vision and, according to scientists, it probably hunted during daytime.

Alok Jha of The Guardian has more details: Link


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