Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin (USA) have described three new species of fossil primates unknown to science.
They all lived in what is now San Diego County, at a time when Southern California was full of lush tropical forests.
Since 1930, numerous primate fossils have been discovered in the sandstones and clay stones of the Friars Formation in this region.
Paleontologist Stephen Walsh and Researchers at the San Diego Museum of Natural History collected a large collection of primate fossils, but Walsh was unable to complete the description of these specimens before he passed away in 2007.
A decade later, graduate student from the same university, Amy Atwater, and anthropology professor Chris Kirk took up the challenge, describing and naming three previously unknown ommyid primates that lived between 42 to 46 million years ago.
They have been called: Ekwiiyemakius walshi, Gunnelltarsius randalli and Brontomomys cerutti.
This find doubles the number of known primate genera in the Friars formation and they increase the total number of omomyids for that period from 15 to 18. The descriptions are published in the Journal of Human Evolution.