The humerus of Aegyptopithecus zeuxis: A primitive anthropoid

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Abstract

Two complete humeri of Aegyptopithecus zeuxis have been recovered from Oligocene deposits in the Fayum Province of Egypt. These new specimens support previous interpretations of the locomotor adaptations of this species and indicate that A. zeuxis was a robust, slowly moving arboreal quadruped. While the previously described distal articular region of the humerus is virtually identical with the same region in many extant ceboids and the Miocene hominoid Pliopithecus vindobonensis, the more proximal parts of the humerus show many primitive “prosimianlike” features not found in the limbs of extant anthropoids. The primitive features include the absence of a distinct deltoid plane, a broad shallow bicipital groove, a large brachialis flange, and an entepicondylar foramen. In most features, the humerus of Aegyptopithecus zeuxis is more primitive than the hypothetical last common ancestor of extant cercopithecoids and hominoids based on neontological comparisons. This supports other lines of evidence indicating that the hominoids from the Egyptian Oligocene are morphologically ancestral to both Old World monkeys and apes.

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