The labyrinthine morphology of Pronycticebus gaudryi (Primates, Adapiformes)
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- Lebrun, R., Godinot, M., Couette, S. et al. Palaeobio Palaeoenv (2012) 92: 527. doi:10.1007/s12549-012-0099-z
The publication of a well preserved Eocene primate, Darwinius masillae (Cercamoniinae, Notharctidae), has revived the debate on the phylogenetic relationships of Adapiformes and extant primates (Franzen et al., PLos ONE 4(5):e5723, 2009). Recently, Lebrun et al. (J Anat 216:368–380, 2010) showed that the morphology of the bony labyrinth of strepsirrhine primates conveys a strong phylogenetic signal. The study of labyrinthine morphology may thus bring a new piece of evidence to resolve phylogenetic relationships within a group. The investigation of the labyrinthine morphology of another Cercamoniinae, Pronycticebus gaudryi, reveals no synapomorphy with the labyrinths of modern anthropoids. On the contrary, Pronycticebus is closer in labyrinthine shape to extant strepsirrhines, which supports the hypothesis that the Cercamoniinae and other Adapiformes are the sister group of toothcombed primates.