Rethinking Primate Origins Again
Article first published online: 26 NOV 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
American Journal of Primatology
Volume 75, Issue 2, pages 95–106, February 2013
How to Cite
SUSSMAN, R. W., TAB RASMUSSEN, D. and RAVEN, P. H. (2013), Rethinking Primate Origins Again. Am. J. Primatol., 75: 95–106. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22096
- Issue published online: 18 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 26 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 18 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 21 MAY 2012
- primate diets
In 1974, Cartmill introduced the theory that the earliest primate adaptations were related to their being visually oriented predators active on slender branches. Given more recent data on primate-like marsupials, nocturnal prosimians, and early fossil primates, and the context in which these primates first appeared, this theory has been modified. We hypothesize that our earliest primate relatives were likely exploiting the products of co-evolving angiosperms, along with insects attracted to fruits and flowers, in the slender supports of the terminal branch milieu. This has been referred to as the primate/angiosperm co-evolution theory. Cartmill subsequently posited that: “If the first euprimates had grasping feet and blunt teeth adapted for eating fruit, but retained small divergent orbits…” then the angiosperm coevolution theory would have support. The recent discovery of Carpolestes simpsoni provides this support. In addition, new field data on small primate diets, and a new theory concerning the visual adaptations of primates, have provided further evidence supporting the angiosperm coevolution theory.Am. J. Primatol. 75:95-106, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.