Palaeontological evidence for an Oligocene divergence between Old World monkeys and apes

  title={Palaeontological evidence for an Oligocene divergence between Old World monkeys and apes},
  author={Nancy J. Stevens and Erik R. Seiffert and Patrick M. O’Connor and Eric M. Roberts and Mark D. Schmitz and Cornelia Krause and Eric Gorscak and Sifa Ngasala and Tobin L Hieronymus and Joseph Temu},
Apes and Old World monkeys are prominent components of modern African and Asian ecosystems, yet the earliest phases of their evolutionary history have remained largely undocumented. The absence of crown catarrhine fossils older than ∼20 million years (Myr) has stood in stark contrast to molecular divergence estimates of ∼25–30 Myr for the split between Cercopithecoidea (Old World monkeys) and Hominoidea (apes), implying long ghost lineages for both clades. Here we describe the oldest known… 
New infant cranium from the African Miocene sheds light on ape evolution
The combined evidence suggests that nyanzapithecines were stem hominoids close to the origin of extant apes, and that hylobatid-like facial features evolved multiple times during catarrhine evolution.
Fossil Old World Monkeys
Primitive Catarrhines and Fossil Apes
Primitive Old World monkey from the earliest Miocene of Kenya and the evolution of cercopithecoid bilophodonty
The simple dentition and absence of bilophodonty in the Nakwai monkey indicate that the initial radiation of Old World monkeys was first characterized by a reorganization of basic molar morphology, and a reliance on cusps rather than lophs suggests frugivorous diets and perhaps hard object feeding.
Reconstruction of the Early Miocene Critical Zone at Loperot, Southwestern Turkana, Kenya
The Hominoidea (apes and, eventually, humans) and Cercopithecoidea (Old World monkeys) diverged from a common ancestor during the late Oligocene (~25 Ma) in East Africa. Subsequently, both catarrhine
Evolution: Skull secrets of an ancient ape
The skull of an infant ape recovered from Kenya is assigned to a new species in the genus Nyanzapithecus and the evidence shows that, although the creature shares some similarities with gibbons, these resemblances are very likely convergence and the new species is a close relative of the common ancestor of extant apes.
A window into ape evolution
A Miocene fossil from Catalonia, Spain, is described that may bridge the gap between earlier small-bodied African apelike primates and living gibbons and help to explain gibbon evolution.
Phylogenetic analysis of Middle-Late Miocene apes


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.
Victoriapithecus: The key to Old World monkey and catarrhine origins
This work has suggested that limb bones with stronger terrestrial adaptations within the Maboko sample were derived cercopithecine remains, while those with more arboreal features belonged in the subfamily Colobinae and should be regarded as primitive.
Systematics of early and middle Miocene Old World monkeys.
Early primate evolution in Afro‐Arabia
  • E. Seiffert
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Evolutionary anthropology
  • 2012
Newly discovered fossils indicate that the persistence and later diversification of Anthropoidea was not an inevitable result of the clade's competitive isolation or adaptive superiority, as has often been assumed, but rather was as much due to the combined influences of serendipitous geographic conditions, global cooling, and competition with a group of distantly related extinct strepsirrhines with anthropoid‐like adaptations known as adapiforms.
Macroevolutionary Dynamics and Historical Biogeography of Primate Diversification Inferred from a Species Supermatrix
A robust molecular phylogeny for 70 primate genera and 367 primate species is generated based on a concatenation of 69 nuclear gene segments and ten mitochondrial gene sequences, most of which were extracted from GenBank to find support for the hypothesis that the most recent common ancestor of living Primates resided in Asia.
Faunal Change in the Turkana Basin during the Late Oligocene and Miocene
Two events, each marking the extinction of one diverse fauna and subsequent establishment of another equally diversefauna, both involving advanced catarrhine primates, are recorded in sites in the Turkana Basin, despite the poorly represented record of Cenozoic faunas elsewhere in sub‐Saharan Africa.
The evolution of mammal-like crocodyliforms in the Cretaceous Period of Gondwana
A new species of Cretaceous notosuchian crocodyliform from the Rukwa Rift Basin of southwestern Tanzania is reported, having a short, broad skull, robust lower jaw, and a dentition with relatively few teeth that nonetheless show marked heterodonty.
African early Tertiary paleontological sites are notoriously patchy, both spatially and temporally. The vast majority of Paleogene primate fossils have been recovered from sites in the northern
Cenozoic Mammals of Africa
This magnificent volume is a clear and comprehensive review of the African mammalian fossil record over the past 65 million years and is an essential resource for anyone interested in the evolutionary history of Africa and the diversification of its mammals.