Paleogene Anthropoids

Erik R. Seiffert, Elwyn L. Simons, John G. Fleagle and Marc Godinot

in Cenozoic Mammals of Africa

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780520257214
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945425 | DOI:
Paleogene Anthropoids

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Anthropoid primates were among the most common members of Afro-Arabian mammal faunas during the late Paleogene, and they may have been present on that landmass as early as the late Paleocene. Specialists continue to debate the role of Asia in early anthropoid diversification, and whether stem anthropoids originated in Asia or Afro-Arabia, but the African record provides the oldest purported anthropoid, the most continuous record of early anthropoids, and the greatest diversity of anthropoid taxa. Significantly, some early anthropoids from Africa are known from relatively complete cranial, and in some cases postcranial, remains, making identification of their anthropoid status more secure. This chapter describes the systematic paleontology of Paleogene anthropoids and also looks at late Eocene and early Oligocene anthropoids, among which three divergent clades can be identified: Parapithecoidea, Proteopithecidae, and Catarrhini.

Keywords: Catarrhini; paleontology; Paleogene; anthropoids; Parapithecoidea; Proteopithecidae; primates; Eocene; Oligocene; Africa

Chapter.  19102 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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