International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 63–79 | Cite as

Dentition ofSivaladapis nagrii (Adapidae) from the late Miocene of India

  • Philip D. Gingerich
  • Ashok Sahni


Two genera and three species of adapid primates are known from the middle and late Miocene of India and Pakistan. Most fossil specimens are fragmentary, but the best-known species, Sivaladapis nagrii,is now represented by enough specimens to permit composite reconstruction of much of the dentition. The incisors of Sivaladapishave spatulate crowns, and the canines are large, projecting teeth. Premolars and molars exhibit complex occlusion involving simultaneous approximation of pointed leading cusps on upper and lower molars, with linear trailing lophs. The premolar eruption sequence in Sivaladapisappears to be P2-P4-P3, as in most extant prosimians. Symphyseal fusion of the mandibular rami occurred early in ontogeny, before the eruption of any of the anterior permanent teeth. We interpret Sivaladapisto have been a specialized arboreal folivore that became extinct near the end of the Miocene, when the distribution of forests was increasingly restricted and colobine monkeys first invaded South Asia.

Key words

Sivaladapis Adapidae Miocene primates tooth eruption symphyseal fusion 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip D. Gingerich
    • 1
  • Ashok Sahni
    • 2
  1. 1.Museum of PaleontologyThe University of MichiganAnn Arbor
  2. 2.Centre of Advanced Studies in GeologyPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia

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