Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If we go down the evolutionary tree of humans, (Homo sapiens, Homo erectus, ...), what will be the first non-primate ancestors?

share|improve this question
Note that humans did not evolve from the tree shrews, both they and we share a common ancestor. See here for more. – terdon Nov 25 '13 at 2:48
I see that you edited the question to include "ancestor". @terdon makes a very good point. We do not think of ancestors in the fossil record in the same way that a person has ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.). The most recent common ancestor of primates and tree shrews is neither a primate nor a tree shrew. There is no name for that taxon. – kmm Nov 25 '13 at 21:23

According to the Tree of Life, tree shrews (Scandentia) are the sister group to Primates. So Scandentia are the most closely related extant mammals that are not Primates. Here's an image:

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.