Primates might have first evolved in … North America?

Primates might have first evolved in … North America?

A startling find in Wyoming radically changes our theories about the distant origins of our taxonomic order.

A fossil of Teilhardina dentition. (Photo: Wiki Commons)

North of Mexico, there are no modern primate species native to North America. It wasn’t until humans arrived on the shores of today’s United States and Canada that our taxonomic order had any representation on the bulk of the continent in the modern era.

So when paleontologists working in Wyoming recently unearthed the most ancient fossil evidence of a primate ever found, it was quite the jolt. Could primates have first evolved in North America, migrated across the world, and then disappeared from their ancestral homelands? Could the arrival of humans in North America have represented, in a roundabout way, our taxonomic order coming home? …