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Seminar with Professor Erik Seiffert

Endless Forms Seminar Series

11 Oct 2022

"From the Sahara to the Amazon: Revealing the earliest stages of anthropoid evolution through paleontological fieldwork in Africa and South America"

Today the non-human species of the primate suborder Anthropoidea -- the group that contains monkeys, apes, and humans -- are found in Africa, Asia and South America. Where did this group first arise, and how and when did anthropoids achieve this broad distribution? This talk discusses three Paleogene fossil sites -- two in Africa, and one in South America -- that bear directly on our understanding of the origin of anthropoids, their diversification, and their broad distribution across three continents. I will also discuss some unexpected recent discoveries that attest to the early presence of anthropoid-like "prosimians" in Africa, and review evidence for a previously unrecognized mass extinction event in the Paleogene of Africa that appears to have profoundly reshaped the trajectory of anthropoid evolution on that continent.

Due to technical difficulties, a recording is unavailable, however, the slides for the seminar will be posted shortly.

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