The eosimiid and amphipithecid primates (Anthropoidea) from the Oligocene of the Bugti Hills (Balochistan, Pakistan): new insight into early higher primate evolution in south Asia
- L. Marivaux
- Paleovertebrata 34,
Recent survey of the fossiliferous variegated mudstones of the PK1 locality (Sabapondaung) in the late middle Eocene Pondaung Formation (central Myanmar) has led to the recovery of a partial right innominate of a relatively large-bodied primate. Given its size and provenance, this bone probably belongs to the same individual represented by the NMMP 20 primate partial skeleton described previously from the same locality. The new fossil, which preserves the region around the acetabulum and the adjacent part of the ilium, clearly exhibits strepsirrhine rather than anthropoid affinities. This addition to our knowledge of the NMMP 20 partial skeleton allows us to reassess the different locomotor interpretations that have been proposed for this specimen. Aspects of pelvic morphology suggest that the NMMP 20 partial skeleton documents a primate that probably engaged in active arboreal quadrupedalism similar to that practiced by medium-sized Malagasy lemurids rather than lorislike slow moving and climbing. Given the conflicting phylogenetic signals provided by NMMP 39 (a talus showing anthropoid affinities) and NMMP 20 (a partial skeleton bearing adapiform affinities), it appears that two higher-level taxonomic groups of relatively large-bodied primates are documented in the Pondaung Formation. The recent discovery of two taxa of sivaladapid adapiforms from the Pondaung Formation indicates that the assumption that the NMMP 20 partial skeleton belongs to an amphipithecid can no longer be sustained. Instead, this specimen apparently documents a third large-bodied sivaladapid species in the Pondaung Formation.