19. Anthropoid Origins

  1. David R. Begun
  1. K. Christopher Beard

Published Online: 14 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332344.ch19

A Companion to Paleoanthropology

A Companion to Paleoanthropology

How to Cite

Christopher Beard, K. (2013) Anthropoid Origins, in A Companion to Paleoanthropology (ed D. R. Begun), Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118332344.ch19

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JAN 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 FEB 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444331165

Online ISBN: 9781118332344

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Keywords:

  • anthropoid origins;
  • biogeography;
  • early African anthropoids;
  • early Asian anthropoids;
  • fossil primates

Summary

The study of anthropoid origins is a vibrant area of scientific research and a major focus of modern paleoanthropology. The evolutionary transformation of a group of small, primitive haplorhine primates into animals that would have closely resembled modern anthropoids probably transpired over the course of roughly twenty million years of Early Cenozoic time. Early Cenozoic climate and geography differed substantially from current conditions, and the physical backdrop obviously impacted the course of early anthropoid evolution. Two Asian fossil primate taxa, Eosimiidae and Amphipithecidae, figure prominently in current discussions of anthropoid origins. The first early African anthropoid ever discovered was described as Apidium phiomense. Apidium is perhaps the best-documented of all early anthropoid fossils. The chapter finally discusses biogeography of anthropoid origins and evolutionary changes associated with anthropoid origins.