Anthropology October 14th, 2010.
Primate & Early human Evolution
Major Epochs during Teritary Period:
•Very different from present-day conditions
•Hotter, more humid
•We “think” first primates show up
Paleocene & Primate-like mammals: Plesiadapiformes
•Body size: tiny, shorew-sized to size of small dog
•Niche: likely solitary, nocturnal quadrupreds, well-developed sense of smell
•Diet: insects and seeds
•Used to be classified as primates because of primate-like teeth and limbs that are
adapted for arboreal lifestyle
Recent: Plesiadapids NOT Primates
1.No postorbital bar
2.Claws instead of nails
3.Eyes placed on side of head
Two Main Eocene Primate Families
•Body size: 100g to 6900g
•Diurnal and nocturnal forms
•Mainly arboreal quadrupeds, some may have been specialized leapers
•Smaller adapids ate mostly fruit and insects, larger forms ate more fruits and
•Led to lemurs?
•Body size: 45g to 2500g
•Some nocturnal other diurnal
•Omomyid thought to been specialized leapers
•Teeth: adapted for eating insects and soft fruits, only few species were leaf-eaters
•Led to Tarsiers?
Omomyid (Shoshonius) and What we think they looked like
Warning: similarity in form does nOT always equate with close phylogenetic
Paleocene primates : very different from present-day conditions, hotter, more humid, we think first primates show up. Recent: plesiadapids not primates: no postorbital bar, claws instead of nails, eyes placed on side of head, enlarged incisors. Omomyid (shoshonius) and what we think they looked like. Warning: similarity in form does not always equate with close phylogenetic relationships www. notesolution. com. Three (3) haplorhine features: fused frontal bone, full postorbital closure, fused mandibular symphasis. South american primates: primates appear for first time in fossil record of south america towards late. Oligocene: origins of south american primate unclear, may have rafted over from africa. Early (23. 0-16. 0 mya) monkeys & apes (e. g. proconsul) apparently confined to africa. Middle (16. 0-11. 6 mya) ape-like catarrhines (e. g. dryopithecus) widesparead and diverse in. Late (11. 6-5. 3 mya) apes (e. g. sivapithecus) became rarer as woodlands and forests replaced by drier and more open habitats.