Relationships between the fossil colobine Mesopithecus pentelicus and extant cercopithecoids, based on dental metrics

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    Abstract

    Maxillary dental measurements from six specimens of Mesopithecus pentelicus, 64 cercopithecines, 59 African colobines, and 64 Asian colobines were analyzed by means of a "nested research design" that was specifically designed to explore the affiliation between fossils and extant cercopithecoids at different systematic levels. The results showed that the variation among taxonomic groups was mainly associated with size; however, in addition, interesting shape differences emerged, molars were shown to be important discriminators, Mesopithecus was confirmed as a colobine (as expected) and found to be closer to Asian species than to African ones, and the odd-nosed colobines were found to share more dental similarities with Mesopithecus than other colobines. The last finding is in contrast to previous studies, in which it was proposed that M. pentelicus is morphologically closely related to the African colobus and the gray langur (Semnopithecus) in Am. J. Primatol. 62:287-299, 2004 (C) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)287-299
    JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
    Volume62
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

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