A new Leakey Foundation-supported study published Feb. 24 in the journal Royal Society Open Science documents the earliest-known fossil evidence of primates. This discovery illustrates the initial radiation of primates 66 million years ago, following the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs and led to the rise of mammals.
Leakey Foundation grantee Irene Smail is using information from fossil primates to model how closely-related primate species may have interacted with each other in the past. Her research will shed light on why our species survived while others went extinct.
Leakey Foundation grantee Sileshi Semaw from the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH), is coauthor of a paper published in the Journal of Human Evolution that describes two newly discovered primate species.