Oldest Primate Found in China

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Oldest primate found in China, as reported in Nature, vol. 427, p22 and p65, 1 Jan 2004. Palaeontologists in China have found the skull of a small mammal that has all the features of a modern primate, i.e. forward facing eyes with bony rings around the eye sockets and a large braincase, relative to the overall size of the skull. It has been dated at 55 million years old. This date is no surprise to scientists because it fits with other fossil evidence of primates, which "appears abruptly in the Northern hemisphere at the beginning of the Eocene, about 55 million years ago." However, the skull has caused some debate amongst scientists who believed the oldest primates were nocturnal animals. This skull has relatively small eye sockets, more like an animal that is active in daylight. It has been named Teilhardina asiatica because of its similarity to several North American and European fossils named Teilhardina spp. Martin Rees of The Field Museum, Chicago commented: "On this basis Teilhardina had a remarkably wide distribution."

Editorial Comment: When palaeontologists say that creatures "appear abruptly" they mean their fossils are fully formed creatures, distinct from other creatures with no evidence of evolving from some other creature. If not extinct they are the same as those living today. In other words, good evidence that the creatures were separately created and have reproduced after their kind, as described in Genesis. The "remarkably wide distribution" also fits Genesis 1:9. In the beginning the world had one ocean and therefore, one continent. That meant land dwelling creatures could move throughout the whole world up to the start of Noah’s flood. (Ref. primate, fossil, China)

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