Amphipithecine primates are stem anthropoids: cranial and postcranial evidence
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Since their discovery in 1927, the phylogenetic status of the Myanmar amphipithecines has been highly debated. These fossil primates are recognized either as anthropoids or as adapiform strepsirrhines. This uncertainty was largely the consequence of a limited fossil record consisting mostly of jaw fragments but lacking the critical cranial elements that might resolve this debate. We report here cranial remains associated with an ulna from a single individual pertaining to the amphipithecine Ganlea megacanina. In addition to anthropoid-like dentognathic characters, Ganlea displays several ulna and skull features that testify to its anthropoid affinities (e.g. short subvertically oriented lacrimal duct, lacrimal foramen and bone inside the orbit, maxillary contribution to the lower orbital rim, fused metopic suture). By contrast to crown anthropoids, however, Ganlea lacks postorbital closure, confirming that postorbital closure appeared later than many anthropoid dentognathic characters and evolved convergently in extant tarsiers and anthropoids. Thus, amphipithecines must now be recognized as stem anthropoids offering a unique window on the early evolution of cranial and skeletal features in anthropoids, and reinforcing the hypothesis of an origin and early diversification of anthropoids in Asia.
anthropoid, Eocene, evolution, Myanmar, primates, systematics
Jaeger, Jean-Jacques; Sein, Chit; Gebo, Daniel L.; Chaimanee, Yaowalak; Nyein, M. T.; Oo, T. Z.; Aung, M. M.; Suraprasit, Kantapon; Rugbumrung, Mana; Lazzari, V.; Soe, A. N.; and Chavasseau, Olivier, "Amphipithecine primates are stem anthropoids: cranial and postcranial evidence" (2020). NIU Bibliography. 515.
Department of Anthropology