Hispaniola monkey

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Hispaniola monkey
Temporal range: Quaternary
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Pitheciidae
Subfamily: Callicebinae
Tribe: Xenotrichini
Genus: Antillothrix
Species: A. bernensis
Binomial name
Antillothrix bernensis
Rímoli, 1977
  • Saimiri bernensis

The Hispaniola monkey (Antillothrix bernensis) is an extinct primate found on the island of Hispaniola. The species is thought to have gone extinct around the 16th century. The exact timing and cause of the extinction are unclear, but it is likely related to the settlement of Hispaniola by the Europeans in 1492 after discovery by Christopher Columbus.

At first, the Hispaniola monkey was thought to be a close relative of the capuchin monkeys, but later investigation showed that the similarities were due to convergent development.

Horovitz and MacPhee[1] developed the hypothesis, first proposed by MacPhee et al.,[2] that all the Antillean monkeys (the others being the two Cuban monkey species of genus Paralouatta, the Jamaican monkey (Xenothrix mcgregori, and the Haitian monkey, Insulacebus toussaintiana) belonged to a monophyletic group linked most closely with the modern genus Callicebus. They later assigned the Antillean monkeys to the tribe Xenotrichini[3] – the sister group of the tribe Callicebini with extensive anatomical comparisons and by extending their parsimony analysis using PAUP*.[4] They maintained that the monophyly of the Antillean monkeys was still supported in the most parsimonious trees, but in slightly less parsimonious trees, Aotus appeared to be linked with Xenothrix.

In July 2009, Walter Pickel found a Antillothrix bernensis skull while diving in underwater caves. The skull, long bones and ribs were recovered by Walter Pickel and Curt Bowen in October 2009 under the supervision of the Dominican Republic and Alfred L. Rosenberger from Brooklyn College. The discovery supported the MacPhee et al. hypothesis of a monophyletic origin of the Antilles monkeys.[5]


  1. ^ Horovitz, I.; MacPhee, R.D.E. (1999). "The quaternary Cuban platyrrhine Paralouatta varonai and the origin of the Antillean monkeys". Journal of Human Evolution. 36: 33–68. doi:10.1006/jhev.1998.0259. PMID 9924133. 
  2. ^ MacPhee, R.D.E.; et al. (1995). "A New Genus for the Extinct Hispaniolan Monkey Saimiri bernensis Rímoli, 1977, with Notes on Its Systematic Position". 3134. American Museum Novitates: 21. 
  3. ^ MacPhee, R. D. E.; Horovitz, I. (May 14, 2004). "New craniodental remains of the quaternary Jamaican monkey Xenothrix mcgregori (Xenotrichini, Callicebinae, Pitheciidae), with a reconsideration of the Aotus hypothesis". American Museum Novitates. New York: American Museum of Natural History. 3434: 1–51. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2004)434<0001:NCROTQ>2.0.CO;2. 
  4. ^ Swofford, D.L. (2002) PAUP*: phylogenetic analysis using parsimony (* and other methods) Version 4. Sinauer, Sunderland, MA
  5. ^ Rosenberger, A. L.; Cooke, S. B.; Rimoli, R.; Ni, X.; Cardoso, L. (2010). "First skull of Antillothrix bernensis, an extinct relict monkey from the Dominican Republic". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 278 (1702): 67–74. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.1249. PMC 2992729Freely accessible. PMID 20659936.