Research explains survival of last Miocene hominoids in China
|Cranium of the fossil ape Lufengpithecus lufengensis at the Miocene site |
Shuitangba in Yunnan Province, China [Credit: XuePing Ji et al.]
After carrying out sedimentary, clay mineralogy and geochemical experiments on the fossil, the scientists found the elevation of the Tibetan plateau combined with the Asian monsoon and global cooling formed relatively independent warm and humid conditions in Yunnan, thus offering a refuge for the Miocene hominoids.
The population of hominoids, once widely scattered in the Eurasia and Africa between 17 million and 15 million years ago, sharply decreased in the late Miocene period.
The findings, co-researched by the Institute of Geology and Geophysics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Yunnan Archaeology Institute, were published in Scientific Reports, an affiliated magazine of Nature.
"It provides a unique approach for the research on evolution and extinction of the hominoids," said Zhang Chunxia, a chief scientist with the research and an assistant researcher from the CAS.
Source: Xinhua [February 16, 2016]