Morphology and locomotor adaptations of the foot in early Oligocene anthropoids


  • Daniel L. Gebo,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27706
    • Dept. of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, 725 North Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD 21205
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  • Elwyn L. Simons

    1. Duke University Primate Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705
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Newly discovered foot bones of Aegyptopithecus are described and compared to those of Apidium and Dolichocebus. Locomotor adaptations are inferred for African early Oligocene propliopithecids, parapithecids, and for Argentine early Oligocene Dolichocebus. All show an anthropoid grade of development in their foot anatomy. Tarsals of Aegyptopithecus compare best with those of Miocene hominoids. Apidium shares derived calcaneal features that link it with Old World monkeys. Dolichocebus exhibits a very generalized platyrrhine talar morphology akin to that seen in Saimiri, Callicebus, Cebus, and Aotus. The morphology of early Oligocene primate foot bones suggests that at least three quite distinct groups, corresponding to three recognized superfamilies, were present in the early Oligocene of South America and Africa.