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Phyletic Perspectives on Platyrrhine Origins and Anthropoid Relationships

  • E. Delson
  • A. L. Rosenberger
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)

Abstract

As the editors of this volume describe in their preface (Ciochon and Chiarelli, 1980), the preceding papers were solicited from researchers in various disciplines so that we could collectively examine a set of interrelated questions: (1) What are the paleontological origins of the New World monkeys?, (2) what is the nature of the phylogenetic affinity between the catarrhine and platyrrhine primates?, and (3) what is the significance of these questions, and their resolution, for understanding the influence of continental drift upon the modern distributional patterns of the anthropoid primates? We have been asked to evaluate the status of Questions 1 and 2, which are essentially phylogenetic problems, on the basis of the foregoing contributions as well as our own respective researches. We have attempted to do so by reiterating some of the more salient arguments in capsule form and pointing out what we feel are their strengths and weaknesses (see summary in Tables I–III). Our conclusion—in brief—is that a substantial set of first steps has been taken, largely due to the multi-disciplinary persuasion of the contributors to this volume, but many important problems remain: the data on living platyrrhine comparative morphology is still meager; the fossil record of platyrrhines is sparse but tantalizing; comparisons of early catarrhines and platyrrhines have hardly begun; too little is still known of omomyid (and adapid) crania and postcrania; the somewhat better-known adapids (not to mention the rarer omomyids) are still poorly understood phyletically; and, especially, without a clear genealogical picture of platyrrhine, catarrhine, and interanthropoid relationships, no scientific model of their deployment can be synthesized.

Keywords

World Monkey Continental Drift Anthropoid Primate Molecular Anthropology South American Mammal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Delson
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. L. Rosenberger
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Vertebrate PaleontologyAmerican Museum of Natural HistoryNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anthropology, Lehman CollegeCUNYBronxUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Illinois at Chicago CircleChicagoUSA

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