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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)
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)
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)
The ∼37 million-year-old Birket Qarun Locality 2 (BQ-2), in the Birket Qarun Formation of Egypt's Fayum Depression, yields evidence for a diverse primate fauna, including the earliest known lorisiforms, parapithecoid anthropoids, and Afradapis longicristatus, a large folivorous adapiform. Phylogenetic analysis has placed Afradapis as a stem strepsirrhine(More)
Dental topographic analysis is the quantitative assessment of shape of three-dimensional models of tooth crowns and component features. Molar topographic curvature, relief, and complexity correlate with aspects of feeding behavior in certain living primates, and have been employed to investigate dietary ecology in extant and extinct primate species. This(More)