Co-occurrence of pliopithecoid and hominoid primates in the fossil record

An ecometric analysis

Leena Sukselainen, Mikael Fortelius, Terry Harrison

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Both pliopithecoid and hominoid primates were widely distributed throughout Eurasia during the Miocene but are known to have coexisted at only a few localities. It has been speculated that their different habitat preferences permitted only minimal overlap under special environmental conditions. Here we study the context for pliopithecoid and hominoid co-occurrence by assessing taxonomically-based palaeoecological diversity of associated fossil mammals and by direct ecometric analysis based on hypsodonty of mammalian herbivores. Our results show that pliopithecoids persistently inhabited more humid environments compared to the other primate groups studied, suggesting an inability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The opportunity for hominoids and pliopithecoids to co-occur appears to have been restricted by niche conservatism in the latter group. Our study also indicates that direct ecometric analysis gives a better separation of the ecological preferences of these primate clades than do analyses of taxonomically-based community structure.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)25-41
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Human Evolution
    Volume84
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

    Fingerprint

    Hominidae
    fossil record
    primate
    environmental factors
    Primates
    fossils
    conservatism
    environmental conditions
    habitat
    humid environment
    Group
    Eurasia
    habitat preferences
    habitat selection
    niche
    herbivore
    niches
    community structure
    herbivores
    mammal

    Keywords

    • Eurasia
    • Hominoidea
    • Hypsodonty
    • Miocene
    • Palaeoecology
    • Pliopithecoidea

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Education
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

    Cite this

    Co-occurrence of pliopithecoid and hominoid primates in the fossil record : An ecometric analysis. / Sukselainen, Leena; Fortelius, Mikael; Harrison, Terry.

    In: Journal of Human Evolution, Vol. 84, 01.07.2015, p. 25-41.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Sukselainen, Leena ; Fortelius, Mikael ; Harrison, Terry. / Co-occurrence of pliopithecoid and hominoid primates in the fossil record : An ecometric analysis. In: Journal of Human Evolution. 2015 ; Vol. 84. pp. 25-41.
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