Specimens suggest Madagascar’s lemurs were not the first mammals on the island — ScienceDaily


Discovered more than half a century ago in Kenya and sitting in museum storage ever since, the roughly 20-million-year-old fossil Propotto leakeyi was long classified as a fruit bat.

Now, it’s helping researchers rethink the early evolution of lemurs, distant primate cousins of humans that today are only found on the island of Madagascar, some 250 miles off the eastern coast of Africa. The findings could rewrite the story of just when and how they got to the island.

In a study to be published August 21 in the journal Nature Communications, researchers have re-examined Propotto’s fossilized remains and suggest that the strange creature wasn’t a bat, but an ancient relative of the aye-aye, the bucktoothed nocturnal primate that represents one of the earliest branches of the lemur family…

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