Phylogenetic and functional affinities of Babakotia (primates), a fossil lemur from northern Madagascar.


Journal Article

Recent paleontological expeditions to the Ankarana range of northern Madagascar have recovered the partial remains of four individuals of a newly recognized extinct lemur, Babakotia radofilai. Craniodental and postcranial material serve to identify Babakotia as a member of the palaeopropithecids (also including the extinct genera Palaeopropithecus, Archaeoindris, and Mesopropithecus). Living indrids form the sister group to this fossil clade. The postcranial anatomy indicates that Babakotia was a medium-sized (approximately 15 kg) indroid whose inferred positional behaviors were primarily slow climbing and hanging. Although it is probable that a leaping component typified the ancestral positional repertoire of all Malagasy lemurs, the mosaic nature of the locomotor skeleton of Babakotia further suggests that vertical climbing and hang-feeding rather than ricochetal leaping were primitive for indrids and palaeopropithecids and that the dramatic saltatory adaptations of the living indrids postdate the divergence of these two lineages.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Jungers, WL; Godfrey, LR; Simons, EL; Chatrath, PS; Rakotosamimanana, B

Published Date

  • October 1991

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 88 / 20

Start / End Page

  • 9082 - 9086

PubMed ID

  • 1924371

Pubmed Central ID

  • 1924371

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.88.20.9082


  • eng