Dental Evidence for Diet in Some Miocene Catarrhines with Comments on the Effects of Phylogeny on the Interpretation of Adaptation

  • Richard F. Kay
  • Peter S. Ungar
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


Studies of the dental anatomy of Miocene catarrhines have concentrated on either phylogenetic or adaptive interpretations. Most investigations of systematics or dental function have been considered more mutually exclusive than reciprocally illuminating. In this chapter, we attempt to develop a balanced view of the two together. Data presented here suggest that functional inferences require consideration of the phylogenetic affinities of the groups being compared. While the way a character functions is independent of its phylogenetic polarity, the way in which that character manifests itself may depend, in part, on phylogenetic considerations.


Middle Miocene World Monkey Folivorous Diet Dietary Adaptation Crest Length 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard F. Kay
    • 1
  • Peter S. Ungar
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological Anthropology and AnatomyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA

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