A new discovery, funded in part by The Leakey Foundation, helps date the transatlantic migration of primates to about 34 million years ago, around the time a major drop in sea level would have made the ocean voyage shorter.
Dozens of non-human primate species, including our closest relatives, are at risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and are vulnerable to COVID-19, which could have devastating impacts on populations of primates that are already endangered.
Darwin is a capuchin monkey who was born during a time of great prosperity for her group. She is the granddaughter of alpha male Pablo and the venerable alpha female Chupacabra. Darwin had a happy and relatively carefree childhood but her life since then has had its challenges.
With support from The Leakey Foundation, scientists have observed bonobos in the Congo basin foraging in swamps for aquatic herbs rich in iodine. Iodine is a critical nutrient for brain development and higher cognitive abilities, and this new research may explain how the nutritional needs of prehistoric humans in the region were met.
Primates are fascinating. They are intelligent, live in complex societies and are a vital part of the ecosystem. Lemurs, lorises, galagos, tarsiers, monkeys, and apes are our closest biological relatives and just like them, humans are also primates. However, while the human population has spread to all corners of the earth, many of our closest relatives are under serious threat.