• Question: what type of monkey were we in the past.

    Asked by sulxatxox to Anthony on 30 Jan 2019.
    • Photo: Anthony Redmond

      Anthony Redmond answered on 30 Jan 2019: last edited 30 Jan 2019 11:47 am

      We don’t know all that much about our money ancestors, most of what we know is based on partial fossils. However, we know they existed around 25-30 million years ago, and were also the ancestors of all existing old world monkeys, as well as ourselves and other apes (e.g. chimpanzees and bonobos, our closest relatives, gorillas, and orangutans). We know these ancestors were monkeys, and not apes, because there is another group of more distantly related monkeys (the new world monkeys), and so that would mean either that apes (including ourselves) evolved from ancient monkey ancestors, or that currently existing monkeys in the old and new world evolved separately from a non-monkey ancestor! And the second scenario is really unlikely!