Chapter

Evolution and Biogeography of Primates: A New Model Based on Molecular Phylogenetics, Vicariance, and Plate Tectonics

Michael Heads

in Molecular Panbiogeography of the Tropics

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780520271968
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951808 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520271968.003.0003
Evolution and Biogeography of Primates: A New Model Based on Molecular Phylogenetics, Vicariance, and Plate Tectonics

Show Summary Details

Preview

A new model of primate evolution is presented, based on recent molecular phylogenies of the group. The phylogenetic and geographic breaks at the Atlantic Ocean (isolating New World monkeys) and at Mozambique Channel (isolating lemurs on Madagascar) are attributed to tectonic rifting and vicariance in the Mesozoic. Oldest fossils place the origin of primates in the Paleogene, while fossil-calibrated molecular clocks estimate a Cretaceous age for the group. The model proposed here suggests a Jurassic age for primates and does not require any chance, transoceanic dispersal. Dispersal models have never agreed on the center of origin for primates. In this new model there is no restricted center of origin; instead, the primates evolved as the southern vicariant of a northern fossil group, the plesiadapiforms.

Keywords: New World monkeys; lemurs; Madagascar; plesiadapiform; rifting; Paleogene; Cretaceous; Jurassic; transoceanic dispersal

Chapter.  16104 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.