Cranial morphology and adaptations of Palaechthon nacimienti and other paromomyidae (Plesiadapoidea, ? primates), with a description of a new genus and species
The Middle Paleocene paromomyid Palaechthon nacimienti has the most primitive cranial anatomy known for any plesiadapoid. In relative size and functional morphology, its molars resemble those of primates and tree shrews known to feed largely on insects. Its orbits were small, laterally directed, and widely separated, and the relative size of its infraorbital foramen shows that it had well-developed facial vibrissae resembling those of extant erinaceids. Its anterior dentition was probably also hedgehog-like. These features suggest that it was a predominantly terrestrial insect-eater, guided largely by tactile, auditory and olfactory sensation in its pursuit of prey. Adaptations to living in trees and feeding on plants probably developed in parallel in more than one lineage descended from the ancestral plesiadapoids. A new genus and species of paromomyid, Talpohenach torrejonius, is erected for material originally identified as Palaechthon. © 1977 Academic Press Inc. (London) Ltd. All rights reserved.
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