How did monkeys get to South America? The evolutionary record of these monkeys has long been shrouded in mystery and now a new discovery of extinct monkeys from Peru may shed some light on their evolutionary saga.
The general hypothesis is that S.A. monkeys came from Africa but this has only been speculation with no real proof to support the hypothesis. Some scientists believe that South America used to be an island continent for millions of years and was, thusly, isolated from Africa. That may or may not be so, however.
Three new and extinct species of monkey have been discovered in the Peruvian Amazon and the discoverers are claiming that their discovery indicates strongly that S.A. monkeys came out of Africa. Back in 2010 the first monkey fossils were discovered in South America and it took scientist two years to realize what they were looking at. They finally realized the fossil remains were that of a primitive monkey. Tiny fossils associated with this find were further analyzed. This primitive SA monkey would have only been about the size of a modern squirrel but with a much longer tail and weighing only about 1/2 lbs (250 grams).
Of course, the Amazon region in South America is tropical and fossil finds in tropical regions are rare as environmental conditions in the tropics are not conducive for fossil formation. The oldest fossil remains of monkeys found in South and Central America date back to 36 mya but the finding of extinct monkeys now pushes that date back to 46 mya (million years ago).
The discoverers of these monkey fossils say that characteristics of the teeth in these three fossils are the first evidence that monkeys “actually managed to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Africa.” What? How’d they cross the Atlantic Ocean? Did they float across on branches or maybe they made boats? I’m sorry but that claim is a real STRETCH in my opinion!!
Ok let’s analysis this again……………………….
The SA monkey fossils are dated at 46 mya.
It’s believed that SA was an island continent 65 mya.
Somehow African monkeys got to South America by crossing the Atlantic Ocean 46 mya.
Oh but wait! What about the super-continent Pangea????
Pangea is suspected of existing 300 mya and it began to break apart about 100 mya. It’s also believed that most of the land mass at the time was in the southern hemisphere. Ok well then if Pangea actually existed then it is possible for monkeys migrating out of Africa and into South America only those continents did not exist at the time. Question is….were monkeys the only thing that migrated? Doubtful!
Pangea was one big landmass surrounded by one big super-ocean we call Panthalassa. The break up of Pangea was gradual and that breakup eventually resulted in the continents we see today. The breakup began about 100 mya and the SA monkey fossils are dated at 46 mya so it is possible that monkeys migrated out of what was to BECOME the African continent into what was to BECOME the South American continent. Keep in mind that at the time of Pangea there was no Africa or South America or any other continents we know today.
Personally I think these scientists have jumped to conclusions and it does NOT surprise me that they are attempting to add “proof” to the Replacement/Out of Africa THEORY! However, I think something else is far MORE LIKELY in this case.
My theory is this…………
65 mya South America was basically an island continent which means the breakup of Pangea the super-continent was still happening. Animals and ancient human ancestors along with plants, birds, etc where spread across this super-continent. As Pangea began to breakup these animals, etc found themselves isolated on what was becoming the continents we know today. However, keep in mind that water levels back then were NOT the ocean water levels we see today which means the continents we see today did not look like the ones during Pangea’s breakup. These animals etc including primitive SA monkeys didn’t migrate out of anywhere! They were already there in Pangea! As the super-continent began to break up they found themselves isolated on what was to become South America. And this is true of all other animals and species too! These creatures didn’t migrate at all. They already existed when the globe had one big landmass known as Pangea and that INCLUDES ancient human ancestors! In my mind this scenario is far more plausible than all of this Out of Africa rot!! Pangea was the TRUE cradle of the earth not Africa and not the Levant! If you are looking for the earliest cradle of life on this planet then you have to look to Pangea and I think Pangea is a fact. In fact, Pangea is STILL breaking up today as continents today continue to drift! So I’d say “nice try” but the Out of Africa theory just isn’t flying with me in light of the existence of Pangea, a super-continent that is still breaking up today.
So where does my theory put ancient human ancestors?
Simply, ancient human ancestors existed all over Pangea which means they existed all over the world once Pangea began to break apart. I’m sure some of them migrated most likely due to changing environmental conditions. Case in point? We know some early human ancestors did migrate out of Africa and into the Levant (Mid East) as environmental conditions in Africa were changing. The fossil record clearly reveals that. But in other places ancient human ancestors already existed because they were at one time spread across Pangea. Thus, the Multi-regional Theory is supported by Pangea and not the Replacement/Out of Africa Theory! Pangea is a geological theory and, frankly, there is much geologic evidence to support such a super-continent once having existed. Species would have been living all over that super-continent and not just in one little isolated spot that later began Africa. Once again a futile attempt is being made by the discovery of the primitive SA monkeys in Peru to support the Out of Africa theory but I really do NOT think that was the case at all. And I can’t help but notice that Pangea is ignored and seldom mentioned by the Replacement Theorists! True science follows the evidence WHEREVER it leads and in this case the evidence leads to PANGEA not Africa! Nice try guys but, again, YOU FAILED!
Oh and BTW since we now find primitive monkeys in SA why not other primitive species INCLUDING apes and ancient human ancestors? Pangea was mostly tropical and NOT conducive to fossil formations so it should be no surprise that we don’t find fossil remains of early human ancestors or apes in the Americas. Or…do we??? Perhaps we have found such remains but we don’t realize what we’re looking at and/or they’ve been ignored because such finds would disprove the Out of Africa theory! And then there is the little matter of Louis Leakey! WHY did he come to Califco Hills, California to search for fossil remains of ancient human ancestors??? He left his research in Africa and came to the Americas to prove our ancient ancestors existed in the Americas as well and not just Africa! I’m pretty sure Leakey accepted the theory of Pangea and came to the SAME conclusions I’ve come to!