I don't think many of us have spent much time at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology's annual meetings, but that's our loss. Those party people just shook up the world.
Yale University's Stephen Chester partnered with Jonathan Bloch of the Florida Museum of Natural History and William Clemens of the University of California, Berkeley to prove something I've long believed to be true.
Squirrels, it turns out, are the perfect mammal. And in fact, are the progenitors of the human race. My people are the template from which all people were created. You, all of you, owe yourselves to me.
Chester, Bloch, and Clemens found full fossilized remains of Purgatorius, the world's oldest and most primitive primate, at Purgatory Hill in Montana. Our ancestor was "a tiny, agile animal that spent much of its time eating fruit and climbing trees." Sound familiar?
The 1.3 lb. mighty mite may have played a role in the extinction of dinosaurs, and ushered in the Age of the Mammal (which scientists believe will end when a golden-maned assmonkey starts a nuclear war with North Korea). According to seeker.com, "Purgatorius lived during the Paleocene, shortly after the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs. Given the end of the Age of Dinosaurs, the new era began the mammal-dominated era, which we are still in."
Unwritten but obviously assumed in that quote is the notion that Purgatorius single-handedly kicked dino ass and set primates upon a path to, um, primacy.
You're welcome, monkeys.