Elwyn L. Simons

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Early anthropoid evolution in Afro-Arabia is poorly documented, with only a few isolated teeth known from before approximately 35 million years ago. Here we describe craniodental remains of the primitive anthropoid Biretia from approximately 37-million-year-old rocks in Egypt. Biretia is unique among early anthropoids in exhibiting evidence for(More)
Morphological, molecular, and biogeographic data bearing on early primate evolution suggest that the clade containing extant (or 'crown') strepsirrhine primates (lemurs, lorises and galagos) arose in Afro-Arabia during the early Palaeogene, but over a century of palaeontological exploration on that landmass has failed to uncover any conclusive support for(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 late Eocene prosimian Wadilemur elegans from the Jebel Qatrani Formation, northern Egypt, was originally interpreted as an anchomomyin adapiform primate based on limited information from the lower molars and distal premolars. Recently recovered fossils attributable to this species, including a proximal femur, the fourth upper premolar and first and(More)
Our comparative study of morphological (our data on selected living primates) and molecular characters (from the literature) confirms that, overall, phylogenetic reconstructions of Primates, and consequently their classifications, are more similar than dissimilar. When data from fossil Primates are incorporated, there may be several possible relationships(More)
Fossil primates have been known from the late middle to late Eocene Pondaung Formation of Myanmar since the description of Pondaungia cotteri in 1927. Three additional primate taxa, Amphipithecus mogaungensis, Bahinia pondaungensis and Myanmarpithecus yarshensis, were subsequently described. These primates are represented mostly by fragmentary dental and(More)
Comparisons between duplicated genes have shown that gene conversions play an important role in the evolution of multigene families. Previous comparisons have documented in the recently duplicated gamma-fetal globin genes of catarrhine primates, over 15 separate conversions affecting extensive stretches of coding and noncoding sequences. In the present(More)
New specimens of middle Eocene Basilosaurus isis from Egypt include the first functional pelvic limb and foot bones known in Cetacea. These are important in corroborating the intermediate evolutionary position of archaeocetes between generalized Paleocene land mammals that used hind limbs in locomotion and Oligocene-to- Recent whales that lack functional(More)
A new technique for molar use-wear analysis is applied to samples of all 16 species of extinct lemurs with known dentitions, as well as to a large comparative sample of extant primates. This technique, which relies on the light refractive properties of wear pits and scratches as seen under a standard stereoscopic microscope, has shown itself to be effective(More)
The early evolutionary and paleobiogeographic history of the diverse rodent clade Hystricognathi, which contains Hystricidae (Old World porcupines), Caviomorpha (the endemic South American rodents), and African Phiomorpha (cane rats, dassie rats, and blesmols) is of great interest to students of mammalian evolution, but remains poorly understood because of(More)