New specimens of Oligopithecus savagei, early Oligocene primate from the Fayum, Egypt.
New specimens of the early Oligocene anthropoidean, Oligopithecus savagei, from the Fayum, Egypt, include unworn specimens of lower teeth plus the first known upper molar, premolar, and incisor. These finds confirm the anthropoidean status of Oligopithecus. Comparisons with other Fayum taxa suggest that Oligopithecus is more closely related to Propliopithecidae than to Parapithecidae. Dental similarities between Oligopithecus and early platyrrhines are probably primitive retentions that do not support the hypothesis of an Oligocene trans-Atlantic crossing by primates. Among prosimians, the upper teeth of Oligopithecus very closely resemble those of Protoadapis and allied forms (Europolemur, Mahgarita, Periconodon, Hoanghonius), but differ substantially from other prosimian taxa. Most of the dental and osteological resemblances between Oligopithecus and the Protoadapis group are derived features, thus favoring the hypothesis that Oligopithecus and other Anthropoidea are descended from Adapidae.
Rasmussen, DT; Simons, EL
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