Dendropithecoidea, Proconsuloidea, and Hominoidea

Terry Harrison

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:
Dendropithecoidea, Proconsuloidea, and Hominoidea

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Catarrhine primates of modern aspect closely related to extant hominoids and cercopithecoids originated in Afro-Arabia during the late Oligocene. These taxa share key derived features with extant catarrhines, such as a tubular ectotympanic and loss of the entepicondylar foramen of the distal humerus. Such features are not found in primitive catarrhines, such as propliopithecids from the early Oligocene of Egypt and Oman or pliopithecids from the Miocene of Eurasia, which primitively retain an annular ectotympanic and/or an entepicondylar foramen. Three superfamilies of non-cercopithecoid catarrhines are recognized in Africa from the late Oligocene onward: Dendropithecoidea, Proconsuloidea, and Hominoidea. The Dendropithecoidea contains a single family of three closely related genera: Micropithecus, Dendropithecus, and Simiolus. They are all relatively small catarrhines, with primitive dental and postcranial features that indicate that they are the sister taxon to Proconsuloidea + (Hominoidea + Cercopithecoidea). This chapter describes the systematic paleontology of Dendropithecoidea, Proconsuloidea, and Hominoidea.

Keywords: Dendropithecoidea; Proconsuloidea; Hominoidea; paleontology; catarrhines; Africa; Oligocene; Micropithecus; Dendropithecus; Simiolus

Chapter.  33218 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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