Axial skeleton of Cebupithecia sarmientoi (Pitheciinae, Platyrrhini) from the middle miocene of La Venta, Colombia


  • D. Jeffrey Meldrum,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
    • Dept. of Cell, Molecular and Structural Biology, Northwestern University, 303 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611-3008
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  • Pierre Lemelin

    1. Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences, State University of New York, Stony Brook
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The axial skeleton of Cebupithecia sarmientoi is described and analyzed for its functional and phylogenetic implications. The vertebrae of the holotype of C. sarmientoi (UCMP 38762) most closely resemble those of the extant pitheciine genus Pithecia and display features associated with adaptations for clinging and leaping as in that genus. Cebupithecia has a relatively long non-prehensile tail, which is most similar in absolute dimensions and proportions to Pithecia monachus. It also shares with P. monachus a distinctive morphology of the thoracic vertebrae, specifically the presence of a bony pillar spanning the vertebral lamina and body, caudal to the pedicle, herein designated the vinculum laminum. It is proposed that many of these features are shared primitive retentions from the last common ancestor of the Cebupithecia-pitheciine clade.