Lemurs Reveal Clues to Ancient Asian Roots. (Science News of the Week)

By Bower, B. | Science News, October 20, 2001 | Go to article overview

Lemurs Reveal Clues to Ancient Asian Roots. (Science News of the Week)


Bower, B., Science News


Bug-eyed primate cousins of monkeys and apes, lemurs currently live in the wild only on the African island of Madagascar. About 30 million years ago, however, a diminutive lemur species inhabited what is now central Pakistan, a new fossil find suggests.

The handful of teeth unearthed in Pakistan's Bugti Hills represents the oldest known lemur, contends an international team led by paleontologist Laurent Marivaux of Universite Montpellier in France. This discovery raises the possibility that lemurs originated in southern Asia, not in Africa as many investigators have assumed.

Only further fossil finds on both continents will unravel the evolutionary roots of so-called strepsirrhine primates, which consist of lemurs and their close relatives the lorises, the scientists conclude in the Oct. 19 SCIENCE. "The time has come for the Asian scenario to receive more serious attention," Marivaux says.

In sediment previously dated at approximately 30 million years old, researchers found 18 teeth from the ancient lemur species, which they dubbed Bugtilemur mathesoni. They argue that the shape of these specimens indicates that Bugtilemur bore an evolutionary relationship to the modern dwarf lemur.

Crucial elements of the comblike set of teeth that juts from the lower jaw of living lemurs and lorises appear in Bugtilemur, the researchers hold. For instance, a thin, flattened fossil tooth with a scoop-shaped inner surface resembles the lower canine tooth of today's strepsirrhines, they say. Moreover, Bugtilemur's cheek teeth display unusual features, such as a triangular shape and midtooth indentations, which also are found in the modern dwarf lemur.

"This is pretty compelling evidence for the earliest strepsirrhine in the fossil record," remarks D. Tab Rasmussen of Washington University in St. Louis. "Overall, the teeth look like those of a primitive mouse lemur or dwarf lemur."

The discovery of teeth from this ancient primate intensifies the mystery over when and how lemurs reached Madagascar, Marivaux's team notes. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Lemurs Reveal Clues to Ancient Asian Roots. (Science News of the Week)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.