Friday, 22 June 2018

Mysterious ancient gibbon found in Chinese tomb

An ape skull found in a Chinese tomb might belong to a previously unknown gibbon — one that was driven to extinction within the past two millennia. The gibbon would become the first ape known to have vanished since the last ice age ended, 12,000 years ago. The tomb near Xi’an in Shaanxi province, China, is dated between 2,200-2,300 years. It is speculated to belong Lady Xia, grandmother of China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuang.
There is much unknown about J. imperialis: there are no clues as to where it fits in the gibbon evolutionary tree, where else it lived, or for how long. China is still home to some 24 species of primate, but 80% of them are under threat.