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Plesiadapiforms are central to studies of the origin and evolution of primates and other euarchontan mammals (tree shrews and flying lemurs). We report results from a comprehensive cladistic analysis using cranial, postcranial, and dental evidence including data from recently discovered Paleocene plesiadapiform skeletons (Ignacius clarkforkensis sp. nov.;(More)
Adapiform or 'adapoid' primates first appear in the fossil record in the earliest Eocene epoch ( approximately 55 million years (Myr) ago), and were common components of Palaeogene primate communities in Europe, Asia and North America. Adapiforms are commonly referred to as the 'lemur-like' primates of the Eocene epoch, and recent phylogenetic analyses have(More)
The evolutionary history that led to Eocene-and-later primates of modern aspect (Euprimates) has been uncertain. We describe a skeleton of Paleocene plesiadapiform Carpolestes simpsoni that includes most of the skull and many postcranial bones. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that Carpolestidae are closely related to Euprimates. C. simpsoni had long fingers(More)
This study describes and tests a new method of calculating a shape metric known as the relief index (RFI) on lower second molars of extant euarchontan mammals, including scandentians (treeshrews), dermopterans (flying lemurs), and prosimian primates (strepsirhines and tarsiers). RFI is the ratio of the tooth crown three-dimensional area to two-dimensional(More)
We describe approaches for distances between pairs of two-dimensional surfaces (embedded in three-dimensional space) that use local structures and global information contained in interstructure geometric relationships. We present algorithms to automatically determine these distances as well as geometric correspondences. This approach is motivated by the(More)
Inferred dietary preference is a major component of paleoecologies of extinct primates. Molar occlusal shape correlates with diet in living mammals, so teeth are a potentially useful structure from which to reconstruct diet in extinct taxa. We assess the efficacy of Dirichlet normal energy (DNE) calculated for molar tooth surfaces for reflecting diet. We(More)
Mammals with more rapid and agile locomotion have larger semicircular canals relative to body mass than species that move more slowly. Measurements of semicircular canals in extant mammals with known locomotor behaviours can provide a basis for testing hypotheses about locomotion in fossil primates that is independent of postcranial remains, and a means of(More)
Three-dimensional geometric morphometric (3DGM) methods for placing landmarks on digitized bones have become increasingly sophisticated in the last 20 years, including greater degrees of automation. One aspect shared by all 3DGM methods is that the researcher must designate initial landmarks. Thus, researcher interpretations of homology and correspondence(More)
Arboreal primates have distinctive intrinsic hand proportions compared with many other mammals. Within Euarchonta, platyrrhines and strepsirrhines have longer manual proximal phalanges relative to metacarpal length than colugos and terrestrial tree shrews. This trait is part of a complex of features allowing primates to grasp small-diameter arboreal(More)