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Our Ancestors Much Older Than We Thought

There are popular cartoons of cavemen co-existing with dinosaurs, even though we know we didn?t come along until well after all the dinosaurs were gone. Now it?s been discovered that the common ancestor of humans, monkeys, apes and other primates may have arisen much earlier than previously thought. Humans didn?t interact with dinosaurs, but our ancestors may have.

New research suggests the animals from which humans could have emerged were living in the tree tops 85 million years ago, when the dinosaurs still ruled the Earth. This means that modern humans may also have arisen much earlier than thought. This could also indicate that complex human civilizations could have been formed much earlier than we have previously believed. Are we the first great world civilization, or the remnants of one that came before us and was destroyed? The recent discoveries of ancient underwater cities give evidence that civilization is incredibly old.

Until now, the widely accepted date for the emergence of our primate ancestors was 65 million years ago, about the time when the dinosaurs died out. But a team of scientists in Britain and the United States has analyzed gaps in the fossil record and come up with a new figure 20 million years earlier. This means the whole story of primate evolution may have to be rewritten.

The new theory challenges the idea that primates were unable to evolve until after the demise of the dinosaurs. It also suggests that continental drift played a role in how primates evolved in different parts of the world.

According to a computer model, no more than 7% of all primate species that ever existed have been dug up. Robert Martin, of the Field Museum in Chicago, says current interpretations of primate and human evolution are flawed because palaeontologists relied too heavily on direct interpretation of the known fossil record.

According to the new research, the earliest common ancestor of all primates was probably a nocturnal, tree-living creature with grasping hands and feet. It weighed just a few pounds and dined on fruit and insects. The females gave birth to a single offspring, which clung to their fur.

Christophe Soligo of the Natural History Museum in London, says, ?The world 85 million years ago was very different to the world 65 million years ago. What we demonstrate is that modern orders of mammals appeared well before dinosaurs disappeared so the initial divergence of modern orders of mammals cannot be the result of the extinction of the dinosaurs.?

Martin says, ?Our calculations indicate that we have fossil evidence for only about 5% of all extinct primates so it's as if palaeontologists have been trying to reconstruct a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle using just 50 pieces.?

See news story "Reflections on Underwater Cities",click here.

To learn the real truth about past civilizations, read ?Historical Deception? by Moustafa Gadalla,click here.

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