Just out | New adapiform primate fossils from the late Eocene of Egypt @ Historical Biology

Just out @ Historical Biology

New adapiform primate fossils from the late Eocene of Egypt


Erik R. Seiffert, Doug M. Boyer, John G. Fleagle, Gregg F. Gunnell, Christopher P. Heesy, Jonathan M. G. Perry & Hesham M. Sallam


Caenopithecine adapiform primates are currently represented by two genera from the late Eocene of Egypt (Afradapis and Aframonius) and one from the middle Eocene of Switzerland (Caenopithecus). All are somewhat anthropoid-like in several aspects of their dental and gnathic morphology, and are inferred to have been highly folivorous. Here we describe a new caenopithecine genus and species, Masradapis tahai, from the ~37 million-year-old Locality BQ-2 in Egypt, that is represented by mandibular and maxillary fragments and isolated teeth. Masradapis is approximately the same size as Aframonius but differs in having a more dramatic distal increase in molar size, more complex upper molar shearing crests, and an exceptionally deep mandibular corpus. We also describe additional mandibles and part of the orbit and rostrum of Aframoniuswhich suggest that it was probably diurnal. Phylogenetic analyses place Masradapiseither as the sister taxon of Aframonius (parsimony), as a basal adapine (standard Bayesian), or as the sister taxon of Afradapis and Caenopithecus (Bayesian tip-dating). The latter analysis, when combined with Bayesian biogeographic analysis, suggests that a common ancestor of known caenopithecines dispersed to Afro-Arabia from Europe between 49.4 and 47.4 Ma, and that a trans-Tethyan back-dispersal explains Caenopithecus’ later presence in Europe.

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Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)