An artistic reconstruction of Archicebus achilles
Credit: Xijun Ni, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropoogy, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Associated Press Release
WASHINGTON (AP) -- New fossil evidence of the earliest complete skeleton of an ancient primate suggests it was a hyperactive, wide-eyed creature so small you could hold a couple of them in your hand. If only they would stay still long enough.
A 55-million-year-old fossil dug up in central China is one of our earliest primate relatives. Scientists reporting the finding Wednesday in the journal Nature say it wasn't a direct ancestor, but more of a close cousin.
Its discovery gives scientists a better understanding of the complex evolution that eventually led to humans.
This creature looked a little like a lemur and weighed an ounce or less. Study author Christopher Beard described the creature as anxious, always running around looking for its next meal.