Aiming to inform the general public about the captivating side of our Earth's fauna through an exploration of bizarre facts and hypotheses relating to the fields of Zoology, Cryptozoology, Paleontology, and Paleoanthropology

Sunday, February 8, 2015

New Fossils Reveal The Mother Continent for South American Monkeys

Illustration of Perupithecus ucayaliensis by Jorge González
Arguably one of the best nicknames for the continent Africa is that of 'The Mother Continent', a name owing to the fact that our own Mitochondrial Eve can be traced to this location. However, Homo sapiens was not the only primate species to derive out of Africa. A paper recently published in the journal Nature has revealed new fossil material which sheds light on the origins of South America’s iconic monkey species. In 2010, a team of paleontologists led by Los Angeles County Natural History Museum curator Dr. Ken Campbell uncovered the teeth of three novel extinct primates in the east Peruvian Amazon. The first specimen took two years to identify as a result of its anatomy being distinct from that of modern day South American monkeys, the platyrrhines. The date of this species was traced to the Eocene epoch approximately 36 million years ago, making it ten million years older than any other fossil platyrrhine known. As a result, the newly named Perupithecus ucayaliensis is considered by scientists as a significant piece of the puzzle that is the evolutionary history of South American monkeys.

Friday, January 16, 2015

My Appearance on The Fortean Slip Podcast: Sea Monsters, The Loch Ness Monster, and Cryptozoology

Tim Morris' spectacular poster-style illustration depicting various hypothetical 'sea serpent' forms inferred from reports. It is always a pleasure to discuss the potential for real zoological inquiry behind such fantastical concepts as these on podcasts and radio shows. (Source)
On January 2, I spoke with Fortean enthusiasts Christopher York and Steve Alcorn on their podcast The Fortean Slip. The main focus of this show was to discuss such matters as purported 'sea serpents', alleged mystery animals of Loch Ness, and the field of Cryptozoology as a whole. However, we also delved into fascinating topics like animal cognition and the currently poor state of mystery primate research. I can guarantee that I will be appearing on future shows with these astute yet humorous gentlemen, but for now please enjoy my latest appearance.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A New Year and New Zoological Musings

The Etendeka round-eared sengi, a new species of elephant shrew which posed a surprise to mammalogists in 2014. (Source)
With the occurrence of this New Year's Day, yet another year of my writing on this blog has transpired. I hope to deliver fresh material throughout this coming year, with an increased focus on non-cryptozoological topics. I feel that time constraints and my own personal favoritism for the study of unverified animal species have caused me to neglect other zoological matters and even miss opportunities to write on recent discoveries. Also, I have since come to a significant turning point of sorts in regard to my views on this controversial field and its more popular mystery animal elements.