Non-human primate found in John Day Fossil Beds

'New species shows little resemblance to other North American primates'

(Oregon/Washington Bureau of Land Management)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The fossilized remains of what is believed to be the last non-human primate in North America were recently discovered in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

This small, lemur-like animal is a new species to scientists, a release from the Oregon/Washington Bureau of Land Management said.

The animal may have crossed a land bridge at the Bering Strait about 29 million years ago.

“This new species shows little resemblance to other North American primates,” Dr. Joshua Samuels said in a statement. “Where it came from and how it is related to other primates has long been a mystery.”

Ekgmowechashala zancanellai — named in honor of retired archaelogist-paleontologist John Zancanella — weighed about 5 pounds and ate fruit.

The fossilized remains of what is believed to be the last non-human primate in North America were recently discovered in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Sept. 3, 2015 (BLM)
The fossilized remains of what is believed to be the last non-human primate in North America were recently discovered in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Sept. 3, 2015 (BLM)

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