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CONTENTS of entire timeline

CONTENTS of 59,999,999 BC- 51,000 BC Large land and aquatic mammals appear; many kinds of primates appear (almost as many go extinct); an island continent finally disappears for good; the Mediterranean valley turns into the Mediterranean Sea; human beings emerge, develop housing, clothes, lamps, and drugs, breed dogs, use horses; Mars dies (or goes dormant)

This page last updated on or about 10-31-05
a - j r m o o n e y h a m . c o m - o r i g i n a l


Approximately 45,000,000 BC: Some of the earliest emerging primates (predecessors to humanity) are astonishingly tiny creatures

The Madagascar mouse lemur of the early 21st century will weigh one ounce and be the smallest known living primate (a fairly close relative to humanity) of that time. But the mouse lemur will be huge compared to the smallest primate of 45,000,000 BC, living in the vicinity someday to be called eastern China. This tiny animal weighs around a third of an ounce and could stand on a 21st century human's thumb.

The tiny creatures are denizens of a rain forest, feasting upon sap and insects. A slightly larger species (weighing in at half an ounce-- roughly 20th century shrew-size) living in the same time and place may be a closer relative to later human beings than the first. The animals are nocturnal. More than a dozen different types of tiny primates will be documented in the find cited below.

-- Fossils of Tiny Primates Found By DAVID KINNEY, Associated Press/Yahoo! Science Headlines, March 16 2000

Prior to the discovery described above, scientists believed primates didn't emerge until five million years later in Asia.

40,000,000 BC: At least one variant of early primate is roughly the size of a small 20th century squirrel, living on insects, and spending much of its time in trees.

-- Tiny Primate Could Rewrite Some History, Reuters/; http://dailynews.yahoo.com/; News Science Headlines, October 15 1999

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