International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 653–682 | Cite as

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

  • Elwyn L. Simons
  • Laurie R. Godfrey
  • William L. Jungers
  • Prithijit S. Chatrath
  • Jeannette Ravaoarisoa


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

Mesopropithecus subfossil lemurs Palaeopropithecidae Madagascar 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elwyn L. Simons
    • 1
  • Laurie R. Godfrey
    • 2
  • William L. Jungers
    • 3
  • Prithijit S. Chatrath
    • 1
  • Jeannette Ravaoarisoa
    • 4
  1. 1.Duke University Primate CenterDurham
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherst
  3. 3.Department of Anatomical SciencesHealth Sciences Center, School of Medicine, SUNY at Stony BrookStony Brook
  4. 4.The Peregrine FundAntananarivo 101Madagascar

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