First North American monkey fossils are found in Panama Canal excavation

Seven fossil teeth exposed by the Panama Canal expansion project are the first evidence of a monkey on the North American continent before the Isthmus of Panama connected it to South America 3.5 million years ago. A team including Carlos Jaramillo, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), published this discovery online in the journal, Nature today. They named the new monkey species Panamacebus transitus in honor of Panama and the monkey’s movement across the ancient seaway that divided North and South America.

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(e) Science News – Paleontology & Archaeology

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