Anthropoid origins.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

Recent fossil discoveries have greatly increased our knowledge of the morphology and diversity of early Anthropoidea, the suborder to which humans belong. Phylogenetic analysis of Recent and fossil taxa supports the hypotheses that a haplorhine-strepsirrhine dichotomy existed at least at the time of the earliest record of fossil primates (earliest Eocene) and that eosimiids (middle Eocene, China) are primitive anthropoids. Functional analysis suggests that stem haplorhines were small, nocturnal, arboreal, visually oriented insectivore-frugivores with a scurrying-leaping locomotion. A change from nocturnality to diurnality was the fundamental adaptive shift that occurred at the base of the tarsier-eosimiid-anthropoid clade. Stem anthropoids remained small diurnal arborealists but adopted locomotor patterns with more arboreal quadrupedalism and less leaping. A shift to a more herbivorous diet occurred in several anthropoid lineages.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kay, RF; Ross, C; Williams, BA

Published Date

  • February 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 275 / 5301

Start / End Page

  • 797 - 804

PubMed ID

  • 9012340

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.275.5301.797


  • eng