Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Another Darwinian Dilemma: Tarsiers Raft From Asia to Africa and Back Again – Several Times

A Philippine tarsier (Carlito syrichta). Image courtesy of Kok Leng Yeo, Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).

Joel Kontinen

Monkeys are not very fond of swimming or even rafting over vast stretches of open seas. But if evolution were true, they had to get from Asia to Africa and back again several times, regardless of their dislike of navigation.

A new study published in the journal Science on tarsier fossils found in China proposes that Asian tarsiers must have crossed the waters separating Asia and Africa, as evolutionists believe that "40 million years ago" Africa was an island continent.

Evolutionists believe that modern monkeys evolved from tarsiers.

Previous research has also suggested that tarsiers had to be excellent mariners.

According to a Darwinian story, African monkeys later crossed the ocean into South America and from there they eventually made it over to Central America, after an ocean adventure of at least 160 kilometres (100 miles).

Science Daily reports that one of the species recently discovered, named Oligotarsius rarus, “was ‘incredibly similar’ to the modern tarsier found today only in the Philippine and Indonesian islands.

K. Christopher Beard, senior curator at the University of Kansas' Biodiversity Institute, a co-author of the paper, says: "The fossil teeth described in this paper are nearly identical to those of modern tarsiers. Research shows that modern tarsiers are pretty much living fossils -- those things have been doing what they do ever since time immemorial, as far as we can tell."

A tarsier is anything but primitive; it can rotate its head 180 degrees and it communicates with other tarsiers by using ultrasound.


University of Kansas. 2016. Six new fossil species form 'snapshot' of primates stressed by ancient climate change. Science Daily. (5 May).