Postcranial Anatomy and the Origin of the Anthropoidea

  • Marian Dagosto
  • Daniel L. Gebo
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


One of the major unresolved problems in the phylogeny of primate higher taxa is the origin and relationships of Anthropoidea. Several hypotheses are currently in contention, two of which entail the idea of descent from the Eocene euprimate families Adapidae and Omomyidae. The idea that omo-myids or tarsiers are the stem group for anthropoids is based primarily on characters of the narial region and placentation shared by Tarsius (a presumed descendant of omomyids) and anthropoids (Hill, 1919; Luckett, 1975; Pocock, 1918); features of middle ear construction and arterial circulation (Cartmill and Kay, 1978; Cartmill et al., 1981; Szalay, 1975); and the relationship of the interorbital septum to the nasal fossa (Cartmill, 1972; Cave, 19(57) shared by tarsiers, omomyids, and anthropoids. This hypothesis will be abbreviated as OA. The evidence for a phyletic relationship between adapids and anthropoids (AA) rests primarily on features of the dentition shared by adapids and anthropoids (Gingerich, 1980; Rasmussen and Simons, 1988; Simons and Rasmussen, 1989) and shared features of the basicranial region of Mahgarita and anthropoids (Rasmussen, 1990).


Distal Tibia Direct Descent Medial Malleolus Articular Facet Nasal Fossa 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marian Dagosto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daniel L. Gebo
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Cell and Molecular BiologyNorthwestern University Medical SchoolChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of MammalogyAmerican Museum of Natural HistoryNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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