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Asian Roots

7 June 2012

An article in the Australian science magazine, Cosmos – see www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/5651/early-primates-originated-asia-migrated… is a funny kind of piece that has been published in the journal PNAS. Is it biased? Does it extrapolate a theory out of thin air? It seems that some anthropologists would be happy if early primates and hominids had an origin in Asia rather than Africa – but does any of this matter to anyone? Fossils of an anthropoid primate are alleged to have been found in Burma dating back to the Eocene period – actually, a few teeth in a geological horizon picked up by an eagle eyed fossil collector. They were sent away for analysis and there is the possibility they belong to an early member of the family that includes monkeys. Apparently, some scientists are desperate to see Asia get as much attention as Africa – but does the discovery of four teeth really overturn the consensus?

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