3 The Eocene epoch (55-35 mya) Eocene warmest epoch of CenozoicNW Tenn., trop. rain forest, like PanamaFirst appearance of many modern orders of mammalsAs mentioned, rodentsFirst bats, whales, modern ungulates and carnivoresMost important for us, the first P.O.M.A.Primates of Modern AspectTwo major groups: the adapids and omomyidsBoth groups at the most primitive grade of adaptation
4 The Adapids First appear in early Eocene (50-55 mya) Possibly in Asia in late EoceneFound in both Europe and N. AmericaEarly forms more numerous in EuropeThree important genera:Cantius - earliest adapidOnly early Eocene genus from N. Am. & Eur.Adapis - lemur-sized European formNamed & described by Cuvier (1821)Notharctus - lemur-sized American formVery lemur like
5 The Omomyids First appear in early Eocene (50-55 mya) Found in Europe, N. America and AsiaEarly forms more numerous in N. AmericaImportant genera:Teilhardina - earliest omomyidFrom BelgiumRooneyia - from late Eocene of N. Americathey were very Tarsier or galago like
7 The big question: Which group gave rise to the Anthropoids (Human and Great Ape Line)? Most fossil features point to the adapidsOmomyids are good ancestors for tarsiers
8 The Oligocene epoch (35-25 mya) - the first Anthropoids The Fayum depression - Egypt, 60 mi. SW of CairoEarly Oligocene (ca. 33 mya) 2 genera:Apidium - squirrel-sized arboreal quadrupedDental formula:Could be ancestor to both N.W. and O.W.Aegyptopithecus - most important of Fayum findsDental formula:relatively large brainLarge bodied, ~12 lbs. on averageSubstantial canine sexual dimorphismHeavily-muscled, arboreal quadruped
11 Old and New World Monkeys Aegyptopithecus is best candidate for ancestral Old World MonkeysAdaptation: like modern monkeysWhat about the New World Monkeys?Earliest fossil evidence from Bolivian OligoceneGeologically same time as Fayum, ~33 mya
12 Miocene Primate Evolution The Miocene epoch (25-5 mya) - "The Golden Age of Apes"Two major hominoid radiationsThe dryopiths - Early to Middle Miocene (25-15 mya)The ramapiths - Middle to Late Miocene (15-5 mya)
13 The Dryopiths Distribution (geographic and temporal) Important genera Most forms from E. AfricaSome Mid-Miocene forms from EuropeImportant generaProconsul - Early Miocene, E. AfricaDryopithecus - Mid-Miocene, W. EuropeMorphologyCranial featuresGeneralizedNo major chewing specializationsPost-cranial ("below the head") featuresBody size: monkey to _ gorilla-sizedLimb proportions - monkey-likeFore-limbs not elongaterelatively short fingers & toes
16 The Ramapiths Distribution (geographic and temporal) Ancestors? Most widespread hominoids ever (until us)Turkey, Hungary, Greece, Pakistan (14-8 mya)Later in China and mainland SE Asia (~8-0.5 mya)Ancestors?Probably a Middle Miocene, E. African formKenyapithecus: a good ancestor, ~14 myabig powerful jawsthick molar enamelMost important genusSivapithecus (includes Ramapithecus)
17 General Ramapith Morphology Dentition similar to DryopithsOne major dental character is thick molar enamelCranial featuresMore ape-like, chewing specializationsPost-cranial featuresNot much evidence; seemingly more ape-likeMore mobile shoulder jointPossibly more terrestrial than Dryopiths
18 Specific Sivapithecus Morphology "What great ape would it resemble?"Later Asian formsCranial features mirror OrangutanSloping lower face/jawIt's best interpreted as ancestor of Pongo (Orangutan)
20 One other interesting ramapith genus: Gigantopithecus Found in Pakistan and ChinaDates to mya, latest surviving RamapithHuge jaws and teeth; only parts foundMay have been 6-9 ft. tall, >600 lbs!What caused its extinction?Maybe early humansMore mundane: Giant PandaSame niche, large-bodied bamboo eaterMaybe NOT extinct!Abominable Snowman & Sasquatch ???
22 Last Common Ancestor? Unable to determine exact specimen as yet. Molecular data suggests split occurred between 6 and 5 million years ago.Extensive genetic diversity in hominoids during the Miocene.