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Keywords:

  • Omomyidae;
  • Anaptomorphine;
  • Paleoprimatology;
  • Eocene

Abstract

Recent paleontological collecting in the Washakie Basin, southcentral Wyoming, has resulted in the recovery of over 100 specimens of omomyid primates from the lower Eocene Wasatch Formation. Much of what is known about anaptomorphine omomyids is based upon work in the Bighorn and Wind River Basins of Wyoming. This new sample documents greater taxonomic diversity of omomyids during the early Eocene and contributes to our understanding of the phylogeny and adaptations of some of these earliest North American primates. A new middle Wasatchian (Lysitean) anaptomorphine, Anemorhysis savagei, n. sp., is structurally intermediate between Teilhardina americana and other species of Anemorhysis and may be a sister group of other Anemorhysis and Trogolemur.

Body size estimates for Anemorhysis, Tetonoides, Trogolemur, and Teilhardina americana indicate that these animals were extremely small, probably less than 50 grams. Analysis of relative shearing potential of lower molars of these taxa indicates that some were primarily insectivorous, some primarily frugivorous, and some may have been more mixed feeders. Anaptomorphines did not develop the extremes of molar specialization for frugivory or insectivory seen in extant prosimians. Incisor enlargement does not appear to be associated with specialization in either fruits or insects but may have been an adaptation for specialized grooming or food manipulation. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.