[Taxacom] Another transatlantic rafting primate named this year

Evangelos Vlachos evlacho at gmail.com
Mon Dec 21 07:00:55 CST 2020


This is a fascinating idea, and I hope to learn more about these two
opposing views, because this is also the same hypothesis that we keep
repeating for the South American tortoises of the clade *Chelonoidis*,
whose "ancestor" was probably placed in the Afrotropical.

For many years people thought that they came from North America (hence GG
Simpson named a fossil as "*Testudo*" *gringorum*), but molecular evidence
place *Chelonoidis* in a clade with an Afrotropical origin (most probably).

It appears that this "raft" had room for plenty of other animals too, and I
find this idea appealing; I would love to read arguments on both sides
though.

In the case of tortoises however (and especially if they had reached a
medium size, something more than 50-60 cm long), there is another
possibility: a gravid female tortoise floating alone for months, until it
reaches the shores of the new continent. There is actual evidence
suggesting that tortoises can do that and survive.

I am really looking forward to this thread.

Sincerely,
Evan Vlachos

On Mon, 21 Dec 2020 at 09:51, Kenneth Kinman via Taxacom <
taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

> Hi All,
>        Yet another primate was named this year (April 2020) which also
> indicates transatlantic rafting, helped along with a drop in sea levels.
> Abstract below.  Source:
> https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6487/194
>
> Abstract
>
> Phylogenetic evidence suggests that platyrrhine (or New World) monkeys and
> caviomorph rodents of the Western Hemisphere derive from source groups from
> the Eocene of Afro-Arabia, a landmass that was ~1500 to 2000 kilometers
> east of South America during the late Paleogene. Here, we report evidence
> for a third mammalian lineage of African origin in the Paleogene of South
> America—a newly discovered genus and species of parapithecid anthropoid
> primate from Santa Rosa in Amazonian Perú. Bayesian clock–based
> phylogenetic analysis nests this genus (Ucayalipithecus) deep within the
> otherwise Afro-Arabian clade Parapithecoidea and indicates that
> transatlantic rafting of the lineage leading to Ucayalipithecus likely took
> place between ~35 and ~32 million years ago, a dispersal window that
> includes the major worldwide drop in sea level that occurred near the
> Eocene-Oligocene boundary.
>
> ________________________________
> From: John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>
> Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2020 9:13 PM
> To: Kenneth Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
> Cc: taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Primate {twadle?}
>
> Ken, none of this comes across as 'serious research findings' - just a
> whole series of fabrications.
>
> Fabrication 1. "South America and Africa have been separated since the
> early Late Cretaceous, so vicariance of primates does not appear reasonable
> as an explanation for their appearance in the Eocene on two continents
> separated by the Atlantic." Twaddle. There is no evidence that they
> 'appeared' in the Eocene. None at all. I dare you to specify any such
> empirical evidence. Of course any alternative is 'unreasonable' by
> definition.
>
> Fabrication 2. "with rafting across the Atlantic usually considered a
> feasible way for how primates arrived in South America, presuming they
> originated in Africa" - make me a raft. Any raft at all. Another fantasy.
>
> Fabrication 3. " similar means of arrival in South America has often been
> proposed for the hystricognath rodents, the dispersal of amphisbaenian and
> gekkotan lizards, and the Opisthocomiforme" Oh yes, everyone says it is so,
> so it must be true. Really true. Saw a lot of this in our recent elections.
>
> Fabrication 4. "... the re-established, relatively contemporaneous first
> appearance datum of primates and rodents in South America leads to
> consideration of possible similarities of intercontinental dispersal
> mechanisms for the two mammalian groups." Leads to nothing of the sort.
> Total garbage. This is just literalist reading of the fossil record as a
> sign of migration.
>
> Cheers,
>
> John Grehan
>
>
> On Sun, Dec 20, 2020 at 10:05 PM Kenneth Kinman via Taxacom <
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>> wrote:
> Hi John,
>         I guess you must be viewing this as "fake news", but what you call
> "twaddle" is based on serious research findings on a number of different
> vertebrate taxa.  For instance, based on new primate fossil evidence, Bond
> et al., 2015 said:
> "South America and Africa have been separated since the early Late
> Cretaceous, so vicariance of primates does not appear reasonable as an
> explanation for their appearance in the Eocene on two continents separated
> by the Atlantic.  Numerous studies have focused on the possibility of
> primates crossing the Atlantic to reach South America from Africa (for
> example, refs 20, 21), with rafting across the Atlantic usually considered
> a feasible way for how primates arrived in South America, presuming they
> originated in Africa....  A similar means of arrival in South America has
> often been proposed for the hystricognath rodents, the dispersal of
> amphisbaenian and gekkotan lizards, and the Opisthocomiformes, a
> Neotropical group of birds (hoatzins) with weak flight capabilities and
> alleged African origin.  And, with the discovery of the Santa Rosa
> primates, the re-established, relatively contemporaneous first appearance
> datum of primates and rodents in South America leads to consideration of
> possible similarities of intercontinental dispersal mechanisms for the two
> mammalian groups."
> Source:
>
> https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14120.epdf?referrer_access_token=Aq3mCS_U83h_wRkC7RGhw9RgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0OeRw-3QoIkb2K-RTBu-WlQVpxymwHRfnmhxWlRfp03p3toa22UdqDv45qaqqTQI56ppLk8Rif3uZBwNOtM87pB7tWQHTiPkH8Kqp7bQU_9txkTQeX8ZJsCEYjoymmn_jm4TsHsvXbuWtG92hWtkygbamnr1YG9cXipd6wE5cJZvHLjAzpoJ3FvB385JmwnskCZs6fZZ97GVWucjy98kE1wY54QXNy1YDdxuSd7KJu39g%3D%3D&tracking_referrer=phenomena.nationalgeographic.com
>
>                   ------------------Ken
>
> ________________________________
> From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:
> taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>> on behalf of John Grehan via Taxacom
> <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>>
> Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2020 7:22 PM
> To: taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> >>
> Subject: [Taxacom] Primate twadle
>
> Link below brought to my attention. I call it a classic example of the kind
> of twaddle that is handed out under the umbrella of Darwin's center of
> origin and chance dispersal theory for the origin of allopatry. Mind
> blowing that science can propose 'mysterious' events as an 'explanation. At
> least Creationists appeal to the directing hand of God. Further, this
> prominent (prestigious?) institution claims that we "know" monkeys crossed
> the ocean, when in fact there is absolutely no empirically based supporting
> evidence at all. It's complete fiction. Totally made up (in politics making
> things up is called conspiracy).
>
> John Grehan
>
> https://www.facebook.com/naturalhistorymuseum/videos/824971771677613
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