The dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago. Then came the primates, from which we evolved. This was the official line, challenged by a new theory.
This new line of thinking is published in Nature magazine on Thursday, by a team of British and American scientists. They claim that by studying statistical evidence, they can prove that primates were contemporaries of the dinosaurs and that the first members of this group date back to 85 million years ago.
This new theory will put the existing theory on human evolution in doubt. No longer is it certain that our first common ancestor was the three-million-year-old Lucy, from Africa. Robert Martin, one of the authors of the study, claims that “The interpretations on the evolution of primates and human beings are not very rigorous because palaeontologists have made very restricted readings of fossils”.
He said that fossils of primate species found represent around five per cent of those which actually existed. “It is like putting together a 1,000-piece puzzle with only 50 pieces”, he added.
The study was based on statistical evidence, in which it was calculated that the 474 species of primate currently registered will have represented a real universe of some eight to nine thousand species. Given the time lapse between evolutionary states, it is calculated that some primates will have been contemporaries of the dinosaurs.
John ASHTEAD PRAVDA.Ru LONDON UNITED KINGDOM