Nuciruptor rubricae, a new pitheciin seed predator from the Miocene of Colombia.
A new genus and species of platyrrhine primate, Nuciruptor rubricae, are added to the increasingly diverse primate fauna from the middle Miocene of La Venta, Columbia. This species displays a number of dental and gnathic features indicating that it is related to living and extinct Pitheciinae (extant Callicebus, Pithecia, Chiropotes, Cacajao, and the Colombian middle Miocene Cebupithecia sarmientoi). Nuciruptor is markedly more derived than Callicebus but possesses a less derived mandibular form and incisor-canine complex than extant and extinct pitheciins (Cebupithecia, Pithecia, Chiropotes, and Cacajao), suggesting that it is a primitive member of the tribe Pitheciini within the larger monophyletic Pitheciinae. Nuciruptor has procumbent and moderately elongate lower incisors and low-crowned molars, suggesting that is was a seed predator, as are living pitheciins. Its estimated body size of approximately 2.0 kg places it within the size range of extant pitheciines. The dental and gnathic morphology of Nuciruptor clarifies several aspects of dental character evolution in Pitheciinae and makes it less likely that the enigmatic Mohanamico hershkovitzi (m. Miocene, Columbia) is a pitheciin.
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