Parapithecus grangeri of the African Oligocene: an archaic catarrhine without lower incisors
Two species of Parapithecus, primitive catarrhines from the Oligocene of Egypt, show a unique dental adaptation among higher primates. This feature, loss of adult lower incisors resulting in an adult dental formula of I ?/0 C 1/1 P 3/3 M 3/3, was hinted at by earlier fragmentary specimens and confirmed by a more complete jaw of P. grangeri found in October 1985. Apparently only one pair of lower deciduous incisors erupt but are lost in adults. Incisor reduction excludes Parapithecus from direct ancestry of any later primates, but the related and contemporary genus Apidium retains two pairs of lower incisors (both deciduous and permanent) and is not so excluded. Newly discovered skeletal differences emphasize the early divergence of the parapithecids and their contemporaries, the early hominoid family, Propliopithecidae. © 1986 Academic Press Inc. (London) Limited.
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