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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications / Tarsiers, omomyids, and new postcranial elements of Teilhardina belgica

Dan Gebo, Richard Smith, Marian Dagosto, and Thierry Smith (2015)

Tarsiers, omomyids, and new postcranial elements of Teilhardina belgica

In: Special Issue: Program of the 84th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists - Abstracts - AAPA Presentations, vol. 156, pp. 142.

The phyletic link of living tarsiers to fossil primates has been a difficult bridge to cross. Although Tarsiidae has been linked to fossil tarsiiforms such as omomyids and microchoerids, as well as to anthropoids, no consensus of opinion has been reached. Here we add several new postcranial elements for one of the most primitive of all tarsiiforms, Teilhardina belgica from Dormaal, Belgium. We compare this new material to that of living and fossil tarsiers as well as to other Eocene fossil primates. Besides the previously known tarsals for Teilhardina, we have been able to add a distal humerus, a proximal ulna, a second metacarpal, a proximal and a distal femur, tibiae, additional tarsals, first metatarsals, and several proximal and middle phalanges. Although most of these postcranial elements compare best with other omomyids, and therefore do not resolve the phyletic relationship of omomyids relative to tarsiers, the fingers and toes of Teilhardina are quite elongated, a similarity to living tarsiers. Middle phalangeal lengths of the diminuitive Teilhardina are comparable in length to much larger species of Tarsius suggesting relatively even longer digits. The digit features of Teilhardina and Tarsius are unusual for primates in general and may in fact represent an ancestral state although hands and feet of other fossil tarsiiforms are needed to test this hypothesis.
RBINS Collection(s), Open Access, Impact Factor, Abstract of an Oral Presentation or a Poster, Peer Review, International Redaction Board
doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22718
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