K. Christopher Beard

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K. Christopher Beard is an American paleontologist, a world-renowned expert on the primate fossil record and a 2000 MacArthur Fellowship "Genius" Award Winner. Beard's research is reshaping critical debates about the evolutionary origins of mammals, including primates, routinely questioning current thinking about their geographical origins.[1] Dr. Beard is the former Curator of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History,[2] and Mary R. Dawson Chair of Vertebrate Paleontology, at University of Pittsburgh.[3] He is currently Distinguished Foundation Professor, Senior Curator at the University of Kansas.[4] He was co-author with Dan Gebo about an extinct primate from China.[5] Dr. Beard also authored the book The Hunt for the Dawn Monkey: Unearthing the Origins of Monkeys, Apes and Humans.[6] Beard was also part of the research teams that discovered Teilhardina, the earliest primate ever found in North America, and Eosimias, one of the earliest higher primates yet discovered.[7] He worked with NASA to scan a Tyrannosaurus rex skull.[8] Beard received his PhD from the Functional Anatomy and Evolution Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1989.[9]



  • The hunt for the dawn monkey: unearthing the origins of monkeys, apes, and humans, University of California Press, 2004, ISBN 978-0-520-23369-0
  • "Mammalian Biogeography and Anthropoid Origins", Primate biogeography: progress and prospects, Editors Shawn M. Lehman, John G. Fleagle, Springer, 2006, ISBN 978-0-387-29871-9
  • "Basal Anthropoids", The primate fossil record, Editor Walter Carl Hartwig, Cambridge University Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-521-66315-1
  • "Early Wasatchian Mammals From the Gulf Coastal Plain of Mississippi", Eocene biodiversity: unusual occurrences and rarely sampled habitats, Editor Gregg F. Gunnell, Springer, 2001, ISBN 9780306465284


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