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Scientists Discover Oldest Evidence Of Split Between Old World Monkeys And Apes

Two fossil discoveries from the East African Rift reveal new information about the evolution of primates, according to a paper published this week in the journal Nature. Findings by scientists at Ohio University and their colleagues document the oldest fossils of two major groups of primates: the group that today includes apes and humans (hominoids) and the group that includes Old World monkeys such as baboons and macaques (cercopithecoids). The research underscores the integration of paleontological and geological approaches that are essential for deciphering complex relationships in vertebrate evolutionary history, the scientists said. Geological analyses of the study site indicate that the finds are 25 million years old, significantly older than fossils previously documented for either of the two groups.

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