Newsletter of the Association for the Study of Language In Prehistory

Issue 26 · Spring 1996

New Primate from China

This news is very recent but with weak relevance to our main concerns. (Source: K. Christopher Beard, et al. April 1996. "Earliest Complete Dentition of an Anthropoid Primate from the Late Middle Eocene of Shanxi Province, China". SCIENCE 272: 83-85.) Their abstract reads: "The complete lower dentition of a new species of the basal anthropoid genus Eosimias shows a combination of primitive and derived traits unknown in other living or fossil primates. Although certain dental traits are decidedly more primtive in Eosimias than in other basal anthropoids, numerous derived aspects of jaw and dental morphology support the anthropoid affinities of Eosimiidae. Eosimiids document an early structural phase of the evolution of higher primates. Phylogenies that derive early anthropoids from cercamoniine adapi-forms are inconsistent with eosimiid anatomy. Because early fossil anthropoids are known from both Asia and Africa, the fossil record is presently insufficient to specify the continent on which this clade originated."

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(c) 1996 Association for the Study of Language In Prehistory