Four fossil skulls in profile against a black background

Fossils of the key groups used to unveil the Eocene-Oligocene extinction in Africa with primates on the left, the carnivorous hyaenodont, upper right, rodent, lower right. These fossils are from the Fayum Depression in Egypt. Photo by Matt Borths.

Around 30 million years ago, the Earth’s climate shifted from swampy to icy, and 63 percent of mammal species vanished from Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. A large collection of fossils housed at the Duke Lemur Center Division of Fossil Primates, representing the life’s work of the late Elwyn Simons of Duke, has enabled scientists to understand for the first time what happened.

Read the article in Duke Today, published October 7, 2021.