ANTHROP 2FF3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Canine Tooth, Darwinius, Aegyptopithecus

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2 Aug 2016
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Early Primates & Hominids
Earth at the Cretaceous/ Tertiary boundary
65 Million Years Ago
Plesiadapiforms
primate-like mammals
not our direct ancestors
oNorth America and Europe
oProbably not the ancestors of primates
oToo specialized in their dentition
Same ecological niche as rodents
oClosely related to the ancestors of primates
Plesiadapiforms Morphology
No postorbital bar or closure
Dental formula 3.1 incisor.4 premolars.3 molars later or reduced
Procubent incisors, with diastema between canines and incisors
Many arboreal quadrupeds, with hallux (big toe) in most cases not
opposable
Origins of Primates
Arboreal Life (szalay 1973)
oHerbivore
oAcrobatic jumping and climbing
Visual Predation (cartmill 1992)
oStereoscopic vision
oFlat nails
oIdentify prey visually
oGrip it with forelimbs
Rise of the Angiosperms (sussman 1991)
oCoincides with flowering plants
oReaching flowers, fruits nectar
oReach think branches
Locomotion (cromption 1995)
oPrimary selection pressure was locomotion
oStereoscopic vision for jumping on small branches
Caluromys (opossum) as a model?
Large brain
Postorbital bar
Primate – like fingers and toes
Marsupial
Adapoids and Omomyoids
First ‘real’ primates
Appear during the early Eocene
Appear during the early Eocene
Distributed almost worldwide
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oExcept in Austronesia
oSouth America
oAntarctica
Disappear almost completely at end of Eocene
Adapoids
Medium body size
oMost 700-100G
2.1.4.3
Small and vertical lower incisors
Sexually dimorphic
Molars have long shearing crests
Omomyoids
North America
oLess frequent in Europe
Smaller than adapoids
2.1.4.3
small canines
molars
oPointy cusps
olong shearing crests
Short snout
large eyes
Darwinius Masillae
Anthropoid Origins
oAfrica or Asia?
One of the most contested question in primate evolution
First remains from North America now disputed
Algeripithecus
Altiatlasius
More material last 20 years recovered from East and SE Asia
Eosimiidea
Eosimiidea postcrania is Anthropoid-like
Earth During the Oligocene 35 MYA
The First Catarhines
oFayum, Egypt
oOne of the richest primates fossil localities
oAlmost 400 M thick succession
oCovers several Million years near the Eocene
Oligocene boundary
oDiverse primate fauna
Including omomyoids
Stem anthropoids
Stem catarhines
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Aegyptopithecus Zeuxis
oThe Earliest Catarhines
Earth During the Miocene 23 MYA
The First Apes
Appear during the Early Miocene
oApe characteristics
Appendix
No tail
Highly mobile arms
Unique elbow joint
More monkey like
Deep thorax
Fore and hind limbs of equal length
Long mobile back
Long olecranon
Oval radius
Stable wrists
Short Straight Digits
oPalmigrade
The foot placed flat on the ground (their
hand)
Proconsul
Kenya 20-17 MYA
Rushinga Island, Lake Victoria
Mix of monkey and ape like characteristics
Afropithecus
17.5 MYA
Kenya
Large jaws and teeth
Powerful chewing muscles
Crushing and grinding mastication
oPointer top of head to suggest more eating
Morotopithecus
20 MYA
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