WHO IS THE CLOSEST RELATIVE OF THE PRIMATES?

November 2007

Short answer: the colugo. Which only begs the question – what is a colugo? Answer to that question – a flying lemur. Except (of course) it can’t fly (it glides) and it isn’t a lemur (there are two species, one from the Philippines, the other from SE Asia, whereas lemurs are found only on…?). The colugo, and the tree shrew, both branched off from the primate lineage, around 68 MY (before the demise of the dinosaurs). The colugo is (just) more closely related to us than the tree shew. Not many people know that.

BBC article; Nature news article (subscription needed); authors’ page.

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Filed under Mammals, Primates

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