International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 653–682

A new species ofMesopropithecus (Primates, Palaeopropithecidae) from Northern Madagascar


  • Elwyn L. Simons
    • Duke University Primate Center
  • Laurie R. Godfrey
    • Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Massachusetts
  • William L. Jungers
    • Department of Anatomical SciencesHealth Sciences Center, School of Medicine, SUNY at Stony Brook
  • Prithijit S. Chatrath
    • Duke University Primate Center
  • Jeannette Ravaoarisoa
    • The Peregrine Fund

DOI: 10.1007/BF02735287

Cite this article as:
Simons, E.L., Godfrey, L.R., Jungers, W.L. et al. Int J Primatol (1995) 16: 653. doi:10.1007/BF02735287


We diagnose new subfossil specimens belonging to the extinct palaeopropithecid, Mesopropithecus,from several caves at the Ankarana massif in northern Madagascar. They include three partial crania with mandibles, and the first vertebrae, ribs, clavicle, pelvis, ulna, and hand and foot bones of Mesopropithecusever found. Several other postcranial elements are known for this northern variant of Mesopropithecusand for previously described species from central and southern Madagascar. The new materials cannot be accommodated in either currently recognized species of this genus and are,hereby, given the name Mesopropithecus dolichobrachion. M. dolichobrachionis the second new species of extinct subfossil lemur to be found in the caves of Ankarana. It is unlike the two previously described species of this genus primarily in its larger size, different limb proportions, and aspects of its long bone morphology. Most notable is the fact that this is the only species of Mesopropithecuswith the forelimb longer than the hind limb— hence the name, the “long-armed” Mesopropithecus.Various characteristics place M. dolichobrachionphenetically closest (of species belonging to Mesopropithecus)to Babakotia radofilai, Archaeoindris,and Palaeopropithecus.If these similarities are derived specializations rather than primitive for palaeopropithecids, a new generic name will be required.

Key Words

Mesopropithecussubfossil lemursPalaeopropithecidaeMadagascar
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995