19. Anthropoid Origins
- David R. Begun
Published Online: 14 JAN 2013
Copyright © Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
A Companion to Paleoanthropology
How to Cite
Christopher Beard, K. Anthropoid Origins, in A Companion to Paleoanthropology (ed D. R. Begun), Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118332344.ch19
- Published Online: 14 JAN 2013
Print ISBN: 9781444331165
Online ISBN: 9781118332344
- anthropoid origins;
- early African anthropoids;
- early Asian anthropoids;
- fossil primates
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.