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Monkeys Crossed The Atlantic Ocean On Rafts

Monkeys Crossed The Atlantic Ocean On Rafts

Scientists at the University of Southern California discovered that several groups of ancient primates managed to migrate from Africa to South America across the Atlantic ocean on rafts. Thus, some South American monkeys were descended from African ancestors, belonging to the extinct family of parameteritem. The article with the results of scientific work is published in the Science magazine.

The researchers found four fossilized Primate teeth belonging to an unknown species in the Ucayali region, in the rainforest of the Peruvian Amazon. The extinct monkey, which was no larger than a monkey, was named Ucayalipithecus perdita. The site belongs to the Oligocene, a geological epoch that lasted from 34 to 23 million years ago. The migration itself may have occurred about 34 million years ago.

It is believed that the primates alone could swim about one and a half thousand kilometers on natural rafts made of coastal trees that were felled during severe storms and hurricanes. Migration was also facilitated by the fact that sea levels fell due to the growth of the Antarctic ice sheet at the turn of the Eocene and Oligocene.