In the laboratory of Dan Gebo, you’ll find the tools of his trade on display, including the skeletons of lemurs, chimpanzees, gorillas and humans that help him explain the process of evolution to students. But it’s the smallest treasures in his collection that most intrigue the NIU anthropology professor. Stored away like precious gems are dozens of tiny primate fossils, including foot bones the size of a grain of rice.
Gebo is an internationally renowned comparative anatomist and paleontologist, specializing in evolution of monkeys, apes, humans and lower primates. His research has shed light on how limbs and bodies adapt over time, with a particular focus on the evolution of foot anatomy and locomotion.
Through his field work and published articles, Gebo also has made a compelling and controversial case that the earliest primates were tiny animals, so small they were the prey of owls – and that they originated in Asia. His research discoveries have been featured in the media worldwide, including on the front pages of the New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune.
- Human/primate evolution
- Tiny primates
- Human/primate locomotion
- Physical adaption over time
In the News
- NIU’s Dan Gebo named ‘Illinois Professor of the Year’
- Scientists discover oldest primate skeleton
- NIU's Dan Gebo Discusses Oldest Known Primate Skeleton
- Dan Gebo: Tiny fossils, big impact
- Dan Gebo to discuss evidence behind evolution
- January STEM Café monkeys around
- Why scientists, general public don’t always see eye to eye
- Early human ancestors had a wobble in their walk
- Wee Animal Called Earliest Link To Lower Primates and Humans
- Researchers discover fossils of tiny, thumb-length primates