The monkey-like creature was preserved through the ages in Germany's Messel Pit, a crater rich in Eocene Epoch
Scientists believe rhodoliths have been present in the world's oceans since at least the Eocene epoch
, some 55 million years ago.
Led by scientists at Yale, the study focused on Antarctica during the Eocene epoch
, 40-50 million years ago, a period with high concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and consequently a greenhouse climate.
Pelican spiders are an ancient lineage (Archaea paradoxa shown, from Eocene epoch
It had been deposited there during the Eocene epoch
, during which time much of the world was covered in tropical rainforests - palm trees grew as far north as Alaska during this era.
Gregory Hoke, assistant professor of Earth sciences, said they've determined the elevation history of the southeast margin of the Tibetan Plateau, asserting by the Eocene epoch
(approximately 40 million years ago), the southern part of the plateau extended some 600 miles more to the east than previously documented.
The fossil was recovered from sedimentary rock strata that were deposited in the ancient lake roughly 55 million years ago, during the early part of the Eocene epoch
Global warming kicked off the Eocene epoch
about 55 million years ago, but new research shows that this greenhouse phase did little for North America's plants.
It lived alongside other herbivorous and carnivorous mammals during the Eocene epoch
. It was likely to have weighed about 27.2 kg (60 pounds).
The younger group hails from the Eocene epoch
, 53 million years ago, during which temperatures reached a peak.
"The early Eocene Epoch
(50 million years ago) was about as warm as the Earth has been over the past 65 million years, since the extinction of the dinosaurs," Linda Ivany, associate professor of earth sciences said.