ANT101H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: List Of Fossil Primates, Ape, Hominidae

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17 Oct 2016
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I need to make a few comments so we can stay focused. The roots of the primate order go back to the beginnings of the placental mammal radiation, about 65 mya and the introduction of early primates (50 mya) These ancestors were more generalized and more primitive (in taxonomic sense) than modern primates. The further back in time one looks the more fragmented the fossil record and so the harder to pinpoint lineages. The earliest primates date to the paleocene (65-56 mya) and diverge from quite early primitive placental mammals, called plesiadapiforms. The situation begins to clear as we move into the eocene (56 33 mya) Some of these forms are likely ancestral to the lemurs, lorises and the tarsiers, but mostly extinct by the end of the eocene. Darwinius, from the messel site in germany, was discovered in 2009. Relationships to living primates are not confirmed.

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