Evolution News

Biogeography: Monkeys sailed the ocean blue?

Spread the love

From the BBC:

One thing that has consistently baffled researchers, however, is how primates arrived in South America.

Unlikely though it sounds, the monkeys simply have to have crossed the Atlantic. Last year, new evidence emerged that reignited the debate and pushed this transatlantic crossing theory to the forefront.

Monkey teeth that look like old world monkey teeth, found in the Peruvian Amazon. But …

Given that plate tectonics cannot explain how monkeys reached South America, rafting has to have played a part. In fact, it has been suggested that rafting events are also responsible for seeding South America with the ancestors of its rodents and hoatzin birds. Clearly, the Eocene Atlantic was a veritable thoroughfare for nautical creatures.

If this is starting to sound silly to you, then you are in good company. In his comprehensive analysis of the topic, Alain Houle of the University of Montreal admonishes his predecessors for consistently using rafting as a fix-all solution without considering its practicalities.

Concrete evidence is hard to come by for such an unusual occurrence. But given the feasibility of both a floating island’s formation and its capacity to carry a healthy(ish) population of monkeys, it can at least be said to work in theory.

Oceanic rafting has received its share of criticism over the years, but the more its effects can be properly quantified, the more it is turning from a convenient go-to explanation for bizarre animal distributions into a well-tested and legitimate hypothesis. The “monkey sailor” idea, while bizarre, is no longer as nonsensical as it first appears. More.

Hey, we like this story because it doesn’t take itself too seriously, a common failing in this area. We know how the Vikings got to Labrador (they told us). We don’t know how the monkeys got to South America.

See also: The influence of biogeography on evolutionary thought

Follow UD News at Twitter!

17 Replies to “Biogeography: Monkeys sailed the ocean blue?

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    Monkeys were dropped off in SA by storks.

  2. 2
    WitnessFTP says:

    Mung@1
    Monkeys were dropped off in SA by storks.
    No, monkeys came over by holding onto coconuts carried by African Swallows.

  3. 3
    aarceng says:

    They crossed by land bridges during the ice age following Noah’s Flood.

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    They came across on a banana boat.

  5. 5
    Me_Think says:

    Floating island or floating vegetation across 1,400 KM in 14.7 days ? About 4km/hr. Plausible, but still an idiotic theory.

  6. 6
    wd400 says:

    What’s the ID alternative?

  7. 7
    Robert Byers says:

    Biogeography is a YEC creationists best friend.
    AHA. Thats right. The chimps COULDN’t of sailed or surfed the seas to Brazil.
    The answer is obvious. They walked over after the flood during a tropical stage along with all the other creatures, living or extinct.
    Later the ice age came and colded up the north.
    The boas, rodents, insects, birds all came from the west and not the east.
    The monkeys spoil everything for the wrong ideas the evos put out on biogeography.
    They only survived because they are tree creatures. All the rest , rhinos, elephants, you name it died out under stress.

    By nthe way if monkeys are close to people the mere fear of the sea voyage would of made them jump or perish by despair.
    kicking back with some bananas and just the right wave/wind sequence is impossible.

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    What’s the ID alternative?

    Mt. Ararat is in South America.

  9. 9
    Me_Think says:

    Mung @ 8
    All animals migrated from Mt. Ararat to different parts of world ?

  10. 10
    Virgil Cain says:

    wd400:

    What’s the ID alternative?

    They came with the people who crossed the land and ice bridges.

  11. 11
    wd400 says:

    …. 40,000 years ago? Through beringia? Without leaving any trace in North America?

  12. 12
    Virgil Cain says:

    There is a lot of “without leaving a trace” in the fossil record. It seems to be the norm. And also there was an alleged ice bridge from Europe to NA caused by the freezing of the North Atlantic.

  13. 13
    wd400 says:

    Here’s a phrase that might help you in conversations Joe,

    “I don’t know very much about that topic, I wouldn’t want to offer an opinion before I learned something about it”

    I would still be interested to hear anyone else’s ID proposal for the occurance of monkeys in South America.

  14. 14
    Virgil Cain says:

    That is a phrase evolutionists should take to heart. You want an ID explanation for new world monkeys yet yours can’t explain the existence of any monkeys.

  15. 15
    Virgil Cain says:

    Has everything that has ever been to or passed through North America left a trace of its existence that has A) not been wiped out or B) been found by us? No

    But I digress. No one even knows if old world monkeys can evolve into new world monkeys. And that is why the only phrase required in biology textbooks about said evolution is:

    “We don’t know very much about that topic, we wouldn’t want to offer an opinion before we learned something about it”

  16. 16
    Virgil Cain says:

    Solutrean hypothesis– The reason the monkeys didn’t stay in North America is food. They came over with the humans and moved South with them.

    Heck that is billions of time more plausible than evolutionism 😛

  17. 17
    Peer says:

    The ID alternative is, of course, non-random parallel changes from uncommited pluripotent genetic information carriers that were frontloaded with DNA sequences designed to vary and adapt.

    We are observing an illusion of common descent. In reality, there is no common descent, but common genetic mechanisms ultimately lead to similar geno- and fenotypes and that is interpreted as common descent.

    The premordial genomes (coined Baranomes) were a lot more plastic than ever anticipated. There might have been a few hundred, thousands (or only one as the late Dr John A Davison argued).

Leave a Reply