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Fossil lemurs from Egypt and Kenya suggest an African origin for Madagascar's aye-aye.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Gunnell, GF; Boyer, DM; Friscia, AR; Heritage, S; Manthi, FK; Miller, ER; Sallam, HM; Simmons, NB; Stevens, NJ; Seiffert, ER
Published in: Nature Communications
August 2018

In 1967 G.G. Simpson described three partial mandibles from early Miocene deposits in Kenya that he interpreted as belonging to a new strepsirrhine primate, Propotto. This interpretation was quickly challenged, with the assertion that Propotto was not a primate, but rather a pteropodid fruit bat. The latter interpretation has not been questioned for almost half a century. Here we re-evaluate the affinities of Propotto, drawing upon diverse lines of evidence to establish that this strange mammal is a strepsirrhine primate as originally suggested by Simpson. Moreover, our phylogenetic analyses support the recognition of Propotto, together with late Eocene Plesiopithecus from Egypt, as African stem chiromyiform lemurs that are exclusively related to the extant aye-aye (Daubentonia) from Madagascar. Our results challenge the long-held view that all lemurs are descended from a single ancient colonization of Madagascar, and present an intriguing alternative scenario in which two lemur lineages dispersed from Africa to Madagascar independently, possibly during the later Cenozoic.

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Published In

Nature Communications

DOI

EISSN

2041-1723

ISSN

2041-1723

Publication Date

August 2018

Volume

9

Issue

1

Start / End Page

3193

Related Subject Headings

  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Primates
  • Phylogeography
  • Phylogeny
  • Molar
  • Madagascar
  • Lemur
  • Kenya
  • Fossils
  • Extinction, Biological
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
MLA
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Gunnell, G. F., Boyer, D. M., Friscia, A. R., Heritage, S., Manthi, F. K., Miller, E. R., … Seiffert, E. R. (2018). Fossil lemurs from Egypt and Kenya suggest an African origin for Madagascar's aye-aye. Nature Communications, 9(1), 3193. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05648-w
Gunnell, Gregg F., Doug M. Boyer, Anthony R. Friscia, Steven Heritage, Fredrick Kyalo Manthi, Ellen R. Miller, Hesham M. Sallam, Nancy B. Simmons, Nancy J. Stevens, and Erik R. Seiffert. “Fossil lemurs from Egypt and Kenya suggest an African origin for Madagascar's aye-aye.Nature Communications 9, no. 1 (August 2018): 3193. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05648-w.
Gunnell GF, Boyer DM, Friscia AR, Heritage S, Manthi FK, Miller ER, et al. Fossil lemurs from Egypt and Kenya suggest an African origin for Madagascar's aye-aye. Nature Communications. 2018 Aug;9(1):3193.
Gunnell, Gregg F., et al. “Fossil lemurs from Egypt and Kenya suggest an African origin for Madagascar's aye-aye.Nature Communications, vol. 9, no. 1, Aug. 2018, p. 3193. Epmc, doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05648-w.
Gunnell GF, Boyer DM, Friscia AR, Heritage S, Manthi FK, Miller ER, Sallam HM, Simmons NB, Stevens NJ, Seiffert ER. Fossil lemurs from Egypt and Kenya suggest an African origin for Madagascar's aye-aye. Nature Communications. 2018 Aug;9(1):3193.

Published In

Nature Communications

DOI

EISSN

2041-1723

ISSN

2041-1723

Publication Date

August 2018

Volume

9

Issue

1

Start / End Page

3193

Related Subject Headings

  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Primates
  • Phylogeography
  • Phylogeny
  • Molar
  • Madagascar
  • Lemur
  • Kenya
  • Fossils
  • Extinction, Biological