Fossilized ape discovered in Ramnagar2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
A 13-million-year-old fossil unearthed in Ramnagar, UP is of a newly-discovered species of ape, the earliest known ancestor of the modern-day gibbon. The discovery, by Christopher C. Gilbert, Chris Campisano, Biren Patel, Rajeev Patnaik, and Premjit Singh, fills a major void in the ape fossil record and provides new evidence about when the ancient apes migrated to Asia from Africa.
The team’s find was a pleasant accident. Gilbert and team members were climbing a small hill in an area where a fossil primate jaw had been found the year before. While taking a break, Gilbert spotted something shiny in a small pile of dirt on the ground, so he dug it out and quickly realized he’d found something special.
The fossil, a complete lower molar, belongs to Kapi ramnagarensis and represents the first new fossil ape species discovered at the famous fossil site of Ramnagar, UP in nearly a century.
Since the fossil’s discovery in 2015, many years of study and research went into identifying its species and where it belonged in the primate family tree.
Fun Facts about Gibbons:
1. Gibbons are not Monkeys. They are lesser-known apes
2. Gibbons mostly move by swinging from branches
3. Gibbons communicate by singing
Now for some questions
1. What is a fossil and how are they made?
2. How do you determine how old a fossil is?