Skulls and anterior teeth of Catopithecus (primates:Anthropoidea) from the Eocene and anthropoid origins

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  30 Jun 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5219, pp. 1885-1888
DOI: 10.1126/science.7604261


Recent finds of Catopithecus browni at an upper Eocene fossil site in the Fayum depression, Egypt, reveal features of the earliest higher primates. This basal anthropoidean shows a set of derived cranial and dental features that first occur in combination in this fossil. Old World Anthropoidea or Catarrhini can now be traced back to Catopithecus in Egypt. Size, shape, orientation of incisors and canines, and other features of the teeth and skull relate Catopithecus both to later Anthropoidea and to the early and middle Eocene cercamoniine adapoids. Most defining characteristics of higher primates cannot be documented earlier than the late Eocene of Africa.