Basal Anthropoids from Egypt and the Antiquity of Africa's Higher Primate Radiation

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Science  14 Oct 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5746, pp. 300-304
DOI: 10.1126/science.1116569

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Early anthropoid evolution in Afro-Arabia is poorly documented, with only a few isolated teeth known from before ∼35 million years ago. Here we describe craniodental remains of the primitive anthropoid Biretia from ∼37-million-year-old rocks in Egypt. Biretia is unique among early anthropoids in exhibiting evidence for nocturnality, but derived dental features shared with younger parapithecids draw this genus, and possibly >45-million-year-old Algeripithecus, into a morphologically and behaviorally diverse parapithecoid clade of great antiquity.

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