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Keywords:

  • Omomyidae;
  • Primates;
  • Eocene;
  • PETM

Abstract

More than 25 new specimens of Teilhardina brandti, one of the oldest known euprimates, are reported from earliest Eocene strata of the southern Bighorn Basin, Wyoming. The new fossils include the first upper dentitions, a dentary showing the lower dental formula for the first time, and the first postcrania ascribed to T. brandti (tarsals and terminal phalanges). The elongated navicular and long talar neck suggest that T. brandti was an active arboreal quadruped, and the terminal phalanges constitute the oldest evidence for nails in Euprimates. Phylogenetic analysis incorporating the new data indicates that T. brandti is more derived than T. belgica but less so than T. americana. The hypothesis that Teilhardina originated in Asia (T. asiatica) and dispersed westward to Europe (T. belgica) and then to North America (T. brandti and T. magnoliana) during the earliest Eocene Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum is most consistent with available evidence, including the relative age of fossil samples and their stage of evolution. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.