The phyletic position of the Parapithecidae


Journal Article

The Parapithecidae are a group of primitive anthropoid primates known only from the early Oligocene Jebel Qatrani Formation of Fayum, Egypt. Since the initial discovery of the group early in the century, their phyletic position relative to other higher primates has been ambiguous and the subject of considerable debate. Various authors have considered the parapithecids as the sister taxon of (1) Old World monkeys, (2) all other Old World anthropoids; (3) platyrrhines; or (4) all other higher primates. Although there are anatomical features that can be advanced to support each of these views, parapithecids lack a number of anatomical features that characterize all other anthropoids and are best considered the most primitive higher primates. Such a phyletic position for parapithecids involves fewer evolutionary parallelisms and reversals in anthropoid evolution than does any other phylogeny. This suggests that the origin of anthropoids from prosimians was most probably in Africa. © 1987.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fleagle, JG; Kay, RF

Published Date

  • January 1, 1987

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 483 - 532

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0047-2484

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0047-2484(87)90036-4

Citation Source

  • Scopus