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, 130 (4), 425-34

New Strepsirrhine Primate From the Late Eocene of Peninsular Thailand (Krabi Basin)


New Strepsirrhine Primate From the Late Eocene of Peninsular Thailand (Krabi Basin)

Laurent Marivaux et al. Am J Phys Anthropol.


In this paper, we describe the newly discovered lower jaw of a primate from the late Eocene Krabi coal mine (Bang Mark pit) of Peninsular Thailand. We performed microtomographic examinations at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF, Grenoble, France) to analyze different morphological aspects of the jaw and teeth. Although partially preserved, this fossil mandible reveals a set of distinctive dental traits (e.g., double-rooted P(2) and molarized P(4)) that allow us to describe a new stepsirrhine adapiform: Muangthanhinius siami, new genus and species. This taxon is somewhat atypical among Paleogene adapiforms, and more specialized than the sivaladapid adapiforms (hoanghoniines) that existed in Asia in the same epoch. In fact, Muangthanhinius shows a degree of dental specialization approximating that of some modern strepsirrhine lemuriforms, although it lacks the highly specialized anterior dentition characterizing this living primate group (canine + incisors forming a very procumbent toothcomb). In contrast, Muangthanhinius exhibits a large canine deeply anchored within the dentary that probably protruded high above the toothrow. Finally, despite the development of a molarized P(4) as in Miocene sivaladapid sivaladapines, Muangthanhinius differs in molar morphology from this group, and the position of this new taxon within the Adapiformes remains indeterminate. Clarification of its phylogenetic position will require more morphological evidence than is currently available.

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