Phylogeny of Primate Higher Taxa

The Basicranial Evidence
  • Frederick S. Szalay


There is a consensus among mammalian systematists insofar as most hold the composition of the bulla and, to a lesser degree, the circulatory patterns associated with the middle ear to be both conservative in some features and sufficiently diversified in others to be extremely useful. It is this combination that renders basicranial evidence valuable in formulating phylogenetic hypotheses for taxa above the generic and family rank.


Late Eocene Tympanic Cavity Bony Canal Pharyngeal Artery Relative Brain Size 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bock, W. J., and J. H. von Wahlert. 1965. Adaptation and the form-function complex. Evolution19:269–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bown, T. M., and P. D. Gingerich. 1973. The Paleocene primate Plesiolestes and the origin of Microsyopidae. Folia Primat. 19:1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bugge, J. 1967. The arterial supply of the middle ear of the rabbit with special reference to the contribution of the stapedial artery to the development of the superior tympanic artery and the petrosal branch. Acta Anat. 67:280–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bugge, J. 1971. The cephalic arterial system in New and Old World hystricomorphs, and in bathyergoids, with special reference to the systematic classification of rodents. Acta Anat. 80:516–536.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bugge, J. 1972. The cephalic arterial system in the insectivores and the primates with special reference to the Macroscelidoidea and Tupaioidea and the insectivore-primate boundary. Z. Anat. Entwg. 135:279–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bugge, J. 1974. The cephalic arterial system in insectivores, primates, rodents and lagomorphs, with special reference to the systematic classification. Acta Anat. 87 (Supply. 62): 1–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Butler, P. M. 1956. Skull of Ictop s and the classification of the Insectivora. Proc. Zool. Soc. London126:453–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cartmill, M. 1972. Arboreal adaptations and the origin of the Order Primates, pp. 99–122. In R. Tuttle, ed., The Functional and Evolutionary Biology of Primates. Aldine-Atherton, Chicago/New York.Google Scholar
  9. Charles-Dominique, P., and R. D. Martin. 1970. Evolution of the lorises and lemurs. Nature227:257–260.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gawne, C. E. 1968. The genus Proterix (Insectivora, Erinaceidae) of the upper Oligocene of North America. Am. Mus. Novit. 2315:1–26.Google Scholar
  11. Gingerich, P. D. 1973. Anatomy of the temporal bone in the Oligocene anthropoid Apidium and the origin of Anthropoidea. Folia Primat. 19:329–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gingerich,P. D. 1974. Cranial anatomy and evolution of early tertiary Plesiadapidae (Mammalia, Primates). Dissertation Abstracts International Vol. 35, no. 5.Google Scholar
  13. Gregory, W. K. 1910. The orders of mammals. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 27:3–524.Google Scholar
  14. Gregory, W. K. 1915. On the classification and phylogeny of the Lemuroidea. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. 26:426–446.Google Scholar
  15. Gregory, W. K. 1920. On the structure and relations of Notharctus, an American Eocene primate. Mem. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 3:51–243.Google Scholar
  16. Groves, C. P. 1972. Phylogeny and classification of primates, pp. 11–57. Pathology of Simian Primates, Part I. Karger AG., Basel.Google Scholar
  17. Guthrie,D. A. 1963. The carotid circulation in the Rodentia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 128:455–581.Google Scholar
  18. Hennig, W. 1950. Grundzuge einer Theorie der phylogenetischen Systematik. Deutscher Zentralverlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  19. Hennig, W. 1965. Phylogenetic systematics. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 10:97–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hennig, W. 1966. Phylogenetic Systematics. University of Illinois Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  21. Hershkovitz, P. 1974. The ectotympanic bone and origin of higher primates. Folia Primat. 22:237–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kampen, P. N. van. 1905. Die Tympanalgegend des Säugetierschädels. Morphol. Jahrb. 34:322–722.Google Scholar
  23. Klaauw,C. J. van der. 1929. On the development of the tympanic region of the skull in the Macroscelididae. Proc. Zool. Soc. London37:491–560.Google Scholar
  24. Klaauw, C.J. van der. 1931. The auditory bulla in some fossil mammals. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 62:1–352.Google Scholar
  25. Lamberton, C. 1941. Contribution à la connaissance de la faune subfossile de Madagascar. Note IX. Oreille osseuse des Lémuriens. Mem. Acad. Malgache35:1–132.Google Scholar
  26. MacDowell, S. B., Jr. 1958. The Greater Antillean insectivores. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 115:113–214.Google Scholar
  27. MacIntyre, G. T. 1972. The trisulcate petrosal pattern of mammals. In T. Dobzhansky, M. K. Hecht, and W. C. Steere, eds., Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 6. Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York.Google Scholar
  28. Martin, R. D. 1972. Adaptive radiation and behaviour of the Malagasy lemurs. Philos. Trans. Royal Soc. London, Ser. B264:295–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Matthew, W. D. 1909. The Carnivora and Insectívora of the Bridger Basin, middle Eocene. Mem. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 9:289–567.Google Scholar
  30. McKenna, M. C. 1960. Fossil Mammalia from the early Waastchian Four Mile Fauna, Eocene of northwest Colorado. Univ. Calif. Publ., in Geol. Sci. 37:1–130.Google Scholar
  31. McKenna, M. C. 1963. The early Tertiary primates and their ancestors, pp. 69–74. Proc. XVI Int. Cong. Zool. Google Scholar
  32. McKenna, M. C. 1966. Paleontology and the origin of the primates. Folia Primat. 4:1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McKenna, M. C. 1968. Leptacodon, an American Paleocene nyctithere (Mammalia, Insectivora). Am. Mus. Novit. 2317:1–12.Google Scholar
  34. Rich, T. H. V., and P. V. Rich. 1971. Brachyerix, a Miocene hedgehog from western North America, with a description of the tympanic regions of Paraechinus and Podogymnura. Am. Mus. Novit. 2477:1–58.Google Scholar
  35. Russell, D. E. 1964. Les mammifères Paléocènes d’Europe. Mem. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. 13:1–324.Google Scholar
  36. Saban, R. 1956. L’os temporal et ses rapports chez les Lumeriens sufossiles de Madagascar. Mem. Inst. Sci. Mad., Ser. A10:251–297.Google Scholar
  37. Saban, R. 1963. Contribution à l’étude de l’os temporal des Primates. Mem. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat., Ser. A29:1–378.Google Scholar
  38. Schaeffer, B., M. K. Hecht, and N. Eldredge. 1972. Phylogeny and paleontology. In T. Dobzhansky, M. K. Hecht, and W. C. Steere, eds., Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 6. Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York.Google Scholar
  39. Simons, E. L. 1972. Primate Evolution: An Introduction to Man’s Place in Nature. Macmillan, New York.Google Scholar
  40. Szalay, F. S. 1969. Mixodectidae, Microsyopidae, and the insectivore-primate transition. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 140:193–330.Google Scholar
  41. Szalay, F. S. 1972. Cranial morphology of the early Tertiary Phenacolemur and its bearing on primate phylogeny. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 36:59–76.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Szalay, F. S. (in press). Systcmatics of the Omomyidae (Tarsiiformes, Primates): Taxonomy, phylogeny, and adaptations. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. Google Scholar
  43. Szalay, F. S., and C. C. Katz. 1973. Phylogeny of lemurs, galagos and lorises. Folia Primat. 19:88–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tandler, J. 1899. Zur vergleichenden Anatomie der Kopfarterien bei den Mammalia. Denkschr. Acad. Wiss. Wien67:677–784.Google Scholar
  45. Tandler, J. 1902. Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Kopfarterien bei den Mammalia. Morph. Jb. 30:275–373.Google Scholar
  46. Tattersall, I. 1973. Cranial anatomy of the Archaeolemurinae (Lemuroidea, Primates). Anthrop. Papers Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 52:1–110.Google Scholar
  47. Van Valen, L. 1965. Treeshrews, primates and vossils. Evolution19:137–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Van Valen, L. 1966. Deltatheridia, a new order of mammals. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 132:1–126.Google Scholar
  49. Van Valen, L. 1967. New Paleocene insectivores and insectivore classification. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 135:217–284.Google Scholar
  50. Van Valen, L. 1969. A classification of the Primates. Amer. J. Phys. Anthro. 30:295–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wahlert, J. H. 1973. Protoptychus, a hystricomorphous rodent from the late Eocene of North America. Breviora419:1–14.Google Scholar
  52. Wilson, J. A., and F. S. Szalay. In press. New adapid primate of European affinities from Texas. Folia Primatologica. Google Scholar
  53. Wood, A. E. 1962. The early Tertiary rodents of the family Paramyidae. Trans. Am. Philos. Soc. 52:1–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick S. Szalay
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyHunter College of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Vertebrate PaleontologyThe American Museum of Natural HistoryNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations