Discovery of the oldest known anthropoidean skull from the paleogene of Egypt

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  30 Mar 1990:
Vol. 247, Issue 4950, pp. 1567-1569
DOI: 10.1126/science.2108499

This article has corrections. Please see:


A group of primate fossils newly discovered in the Fayum badlands of Egypt is probably of Eocene age. The site is much older than the localities of previously known Egyptian early Tertiary primates. These finds include a crushed cranium that is the oldest skull found to date of a higher primate. This skull shows four characteristics of higher primates: a catarrhine dental formula, an ectotympanic at the rim of the auditory bulla, a fused frontal bone, and postorbital closure. Details of tooth structure (premolars and molars) and a possibly unfused mandibular symphysis resemble these parts in certain Eocene prosimians.

Stay Connected to Science