Early primate evolution in Afro‐Arabia

  title={Early primate evolution in Afro‐Arabia},
  author={Erik R. Seiffert},
  journal={Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues},
  • E. Seiffert
  • Published 1 November 2012
  • Geography, Environmental Science
  • Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues
The peculiar mammalian fauna that inhabited Afro‐Arabia during the Paleogene first came to the attention of the scientific community in the early part of the twentieth century, when Andrews 1 and Schlosser 2 published their landmark descriptions of fossil mammals from the Fayum Depression in northern Egypt. Their studies revealed a highly endemic assemblage of land mammals that included the first known Paleogene records of hyraxes, proboscideans, and anthropoid primates, but which lacked… 
The first hyaenodont from the late Oligocene Nsungwe Formation of Tanzania: Paleoecological insights into the Paleogene-Neogene carnivore transition
The description of Pakakali is important for exploring hyaenodont ontogeny and potential influences of Afro-Arabian tectonic events upon mammalian evolution, providing a deep time perspective on the stability of terrestrial carnivore niches through time.
Widespread loss of mammalian lineage and dietary diversity in the early Oligocene of Afro-Arabia
Evidence is provided for widespread mammalian extinction in the early Oligocene of Afro-Arabia, with almost two-thirds of peak late Eocene diversity lost in these clades by ~30 Ma, and homology-free dental topographic metrics show a correlated loss of dietary diversity.
Chapter 9 Review of the investigation of primate fossils in Myanmar
The later Eocene Pondaung Formation in central Myanmar has attracted the attention from many palaeoprimatologists, and many researchers have argued over the phylogenetic position of these two monkeys, that is, whether or not the PondaunG primates are anthropoids, higher primates which includes the clades of New and Old World monkeys, apes and humans.
Chapter 12 – Fossil Prosimians
Early Arrival and Climatically-Linked Geographic Expansion of New World Monkeys from Tiny African Ancestors
The results show that platyrrhines originated 5‐10 million years earlier than previously assumed, dating back to the Middle Eocene, and reveal the full evolutionary trajectory of an iconic and ecologically important radiation of monkeys.
A new and primitive species of Protophiomys (Rodentia, Hystricognathi) from the late middle Eocene of Djebel el Kébar, Central Tunisia
Based on fossil discoveries and phylogenetic studies, an Eocene Asian origin for hystricognathous rodents and anthropoid primates has gained strong support in recent years. The two groups then
Palaeontological evidence for an Oligocene divergence between Old World monkeys and apes
The oldest known fossil ‘ape’ is described, represented by a partial mandible preserving dental features that place it with ‘nyanzapithecine’ stem hominoids, and the oldest stem member of the Old World monkey clade is reported, representing by a lower third molar.
Patterns of dental emergence in early anthropoid primates from the Fayum Depression, Egypt
Dental emergence sequences for five species in four families of early anthropoid primates from the Fayum are detail and Schultz’s Rule concerning the timing of emergence of molars versus premolars in mammals is tested, generating important results.
Eocene primates of South America and the African origins of New World monkeys
The platyrrhine primates, or New World monkeys, are immigrant mammals whose fossil record comes from Tertiary and Quaternary sediments of South America and the Caribbean Greater Antilles. The time
A morphological intermediate between eosimiiform and simiiform primates from the late middle Eocene of Tunisia: Macroevolutionary and paleobiogeographic implications of early anthropoids.
These new data suggest that there must have been at least two Asian anthropoid colonizers of Africa: the afrotarsiids and the ancestor of Amamria, which could represent one of the earliest offshoots of the African simiiform radiation.


Late Middle Eocene primate from Myanmar and the initial anthropoid colonization of Africa
A fossil primate from the late middle Eocene Pondaung Formation of Myanmar is described, Afrasia djijidae gen. et sp.
A whole new world of ancestors: Eocene anthropoideans from Africa
The continental Eocene of Africa—for years, little more than a blank on the paieontologi‐cal map—now comprises an increasingly productive field source of new data that is important in deciphering phyletic and adaptive aspects of the prosimian‐anthropoid transition.
A fossil primate of uncertain affinities from the earliest late Eocene of Egypt
It is suggested that Nosmips likely represents a highly specialized member of a previously undocumented, and presumably quite ancient, endemic African primate lineage, the subordinal affinities of which have been obscured by its striking dental autapomorphies.
Late middle Eocene epoch of Libya yields earliest known radiation of African anthropoids
The discovery of the oldest known diverse assemblage of African anthropoids from the late middle Eocene Dur At-Talah escarpment in central Libya indicates either a much longer interval of anthropoid evolution in Africa than is currently documented in the fossil record or the nearly synchronous colonization of Africa by multiple anthropoid clades at some time during themiddle Eocene epoch.
A radiation of arboreal basal eutherian mammals beginning in the Late Cretaceous of India
This comprehensive phylogeny indicates that faunal exchange occurred between India, Africa, and Europe in the Late Cretaceous-Early Paleocene, and suggests a previously unrecognized ∼30 to 45 Myr “ghost lineage” for these Gondwanan eutherians.
The oldest Asian record of Anthropoidea
The discovery of an early Eocene eosimiid anthropoid primate from India is reported that extends the Asian fossil record of anthropoids by 9–10 million years and confirms the anthropoid status of Eosimiidae, and suggests that crown haplorhines are the sister clade of Omomyoidea of the Eocene, not nested within an omomyoid clade.
New Oligocene primate from Saudi Arabia and the divergence of apes and Old World monkeys
The partial cranium of a new medium-sized fossil catarrhine, Saadanius hijazensis, is described and it is inferred that the hominoid–cercopithecoid split happened later, between 29–28 and 24 Myr ago.
Early North African Primates and Their Significance for the Origin of Simiiformes (= Anthropoidea)
I follow the authors who, since this time, use Simiiformes Hoffstetter, 1974 instead of Anthropoidea Mivart, 1864 (vernacular: simiiform or simian), because of the inconveniences of the vernacular term “anthropoid,” ambiguous in many languages.
Deep time and the search for anthropoid origins.
Overall, molecular phylogenies for mammals agree with some statistical analyses of the primate fossil record in indicating an early origin for primates around 85 Ma ago, and the divergence of haplorhines and strepsirrhines at ca.
Current available geologic and paleontologic data are most consistent with the Africa-first model, suggesting that Africa was the first of the major Gondwanan landmasses to be fully isolated prior to the Albian/Cenomanian boundary, and that its terrestrial vertebrate faunas became progressively more provincial during the Cretaceous, while those on other Gondwana landmassed remained relatively cosmopolitan until the later stages of the Late Cret Jurassic.