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World's Smallest Monkey: Scientists Find Monkey's Tooth Fossil- Size Of 'a Grain Of Sand', In Amazon Forest

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • A team of Peruvian and American scientists has recently discovered the world's smallest monkey which lived 17 to 19 million years ago, as per international reports
  • The research lead by Duke University's Anthropologist Richard Kay has discovered this species from its tiny tooth fossil - the size of a sand grain, according to a study
  • Scientists have explained that the tooth was found embedded in the riverbank of the Río Alto Madre de Dios in South-Eastern Peru

While it is a known fact that man evolved from monkeys (ape), now monkeys seemed to have found a connection with hamsters.

A team of Peruvian and American scientists has recently discovered the world's smallest monkey which lived 17 to 19 million years ago, as per international reports.

The research lead by Duke University's Anthropologist Richard Kay has discovered this species from its tiny tooth fossil - the size of a sand grain, according to a study published by the team.

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Smallest Monkey found:

Scientists have explained that the tooth was found embedded in the riverbank of the Río Alto Madre de Dios in South-Eastern Peru. The team has been excavating the area since 2016 and has undertaken three expeditions, since then.

According to the study, the scientists have named the species 'Parvimico materdei' which roughly translates to “tiny monkey from the Mother of God river.” The monkey is the smallest only after the pygmy marmoset which is a native to the Amazon Basin and weighs around 100 grams.

The molar found by the team signifies that the animal likely dined on energy-rich fruits and insects and weighed in at less than half a pound, which is just slightly heavier than a baseball.

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What does the find signify?

The study claims that this find has helped in bridging the 15-million-year gap in the fossil record for New World monkeys. The team has revealed that they have to search through some 2,000 pounds of sediment containing hundreds of fossils of rodents, bats and other animals before they spotted the lone monkey tooth. 

While monkeys are believed to have arrived in South America from Africa some 40 million years ago, the study claims about 150-plus New World species currently inhabit the Amazon rainforest. The research has helped to shed some light into the sudden expansion of species in monkeys in the region.

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