ANTHROP 3409 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Altiatlasius, Azibius, Mandibular Symphysis

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Anthro 3409
1
Fossil Prosimians
Chapter 12
I. Introduction
A. Eocene epoch (54 34 mya)
B. Major change in faunas
C. First appearance of primates took place in series of waves
D. North America and Europe were connected at high latitudes, but become
increasingly separated
E. Intermittent connections between North America and Asia
F. Dramatic spike in global temperatures Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
(PETM)
G. Warmer and more equitable
II. The First Modern Primates
A. All the anatomical features characteristic of living primates
B. Short snout; smaller infraorbital foramen; postorbital bar; larger, more rounded
braincase; slender limbs; hindlimbs adapted for leaping; feet with divergent,
grasping halluces; nails
C. Increased reliance on vision rather than smell and tactile vibrissae; manipulative
abilities
D. Most abundant mammals of their day
E. North America and Europe; less in Asia and Africa
F. Adapoids linked with later strepsirrhines
G. Omomyoids linked with tarsiers and anthropoids
H. Appearance at roughly same time in Europe and North America
I. Altanius orlovi
1. 10 grams; Mongolia; elevated trigonids and tall premolars; basal primate
J. Altiatlasius koulchii
1. African; 50 100 grams; oldest fossil primate
III. Adapoids
A. Most primitive of all known primates
B. Comparable in size to living lemurids
C. Dental formula = 2.1.4.3
1. Lower incisors are small and positioned vertically; upper incisors are
relatively broad, but short; canines are larger than incisors; anterior
premolars are often caniniform and posterior ones are molariform
D. Long but broad snout with small infraorbital foramen; suspended tympanic ring
E. Limbs similar to those of living strepsirrhines but more robust; long legs; long
trunk; long tail; distal phalanges suggest nails; divergent hallux
F. Divided into 6 families = Cantius, Copelemur, Notharctus, Smilodectes,
Pelycodus, Hesperolemur
IV. Notharctids
A. Early and Middle Eocene of western North America
B. Cantius
1. Small to medium sized
2. Dental formula = 2.1.4.3
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Anthro 3409
2
3. Unfused mandibular symphysis
4. Largely frugivorous
5. Indicate diurnal species that moved by arboreal quadrupedal running and
leaping
C. Pelycodus = large, broad teeth; New Mexico
D. Copelemur = small, narrow teeth; New Mexico
E. Notharctus
1. Folivorous; up to 7 kg; fused mandibular symphysis; well-developed
shearing crests
2. Similar to Lemur
3. Free tympanic ring lying within the bulla
4. Several virtually complete skeletons
5. Extremely long hindlimbs; long, flexible trunk; long tail; pollex and
hallux are large and opposable; grooming digit
F. Smilodectes
1. Folivorous; smaller; narrow teeth; shorter snout; more rounded frontal
bone; diurnal; expanded visual cortex
G. Hesperolemur
H. Cercamoniids
1. More diverse evolutionary radiation
2. Donrussellia
a. Earliest and most primitive
b. Dental formula = 2.1.4.3
c. Numerous dental adaptations
3. Anchomomys gaillardi
a. Small; insectivorous
4. Pronyeticebus gaudryi
a. Carnivorous
5. Periconodon
a. Fruit eating; developed Hypocone from the lingual cingulum
V. Asiadapids
A. Lie near base of adapoid radiation
B. Asiadapis
C. Marcgodinotius
D. Panobius
VI. Caenopithecids
A. Most complete skeletal remains
B. Germany and Messel Bone Pit near Frankfort
C. Godinotia neglecta
1. Quadrupedal, leaping and climbing form; grooming claw; very large
baculum
D. Darwinius masillae
1. 660 grams; herbivorous diet; large orbits; long hindlimbs
E. Aframonius diedes
1. Eocene of Africa
F. Afradapis longicristatus
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