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Temporal range: Early - Late Eocene
Adapid systematics and evolutionary relationships are controversial, but there is fairly good evidence from the postcranial skeleton (everything but the skull, or cranium) that adapids were stem strepsirrhines (members of the group including the living lemurs, lorises, and bushbabies). In particular, the anatomy of the adapid wrist and ankle (e.g., position of the groove for the flexor fibularis tendon on the talus, the presence of a sloping talo-fibular facet) show derived similarities with those of living strepsirrhines. However, adapids lacked many of the anatomical specializations characteristic of living strepsirrhines, such as a toothcomb, a toilet-claw on the second pedal digit, and a reduction in the size of the promontory branch of the internal carotid artery.
There are two major branches of adapids, subfamily Adapinae (adapines) and subfamily Caenopithecinae (caenopithecines). Caenopithecines are sometimes assigned to their own family, Caenopithecidae.
- Fleagle, J. G. 2000. The century of the past: One hundred years in the study of primate evolution. Evolutionary Anthropology 9:87-100.
- Gingerich, P. D., and R. D. Martin. 1981. Cranial morphology and adaptations in eocene adapidae .2. The Cambridge Skull of Adapis-Parisiensis. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 56:235-257
- Marivaux, L., Y. Chaimanee, P. Tafforeau, and J. J. Jaeger. 2006. New strepsirrhine primate from the late Eocene of Peninsular Thailand (Krabi Basin). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 130:425-434.
- Rose, K. D., A. Walker, and L. L. Jacobs. 1981. Function of the mandibular tooth comb in living and extinct mammals. Nature 289:583-585.
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