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  • Writer's pictureChris Gilbert

Toe Fossil Contributes to a Head-Scratcher (New York Times)

Which came first, the nail or the claw?

The answer is unclear, but researchers have discovered a clue: an early primate that had a toe bone with features of both a grooming claw and a nail.

A fossil of the 47-million-year-old primate, Notharctus tenebrosus, had a lemur-like grooming claw on its second digit, but it was flattened, a bit like a nail, according to a new study in the journal PLoS One.

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