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, 107 (11), 4797-804

New Perspectives on Anthropoid Origins


New Perspectives on Anthropoid Origins

Blythe A Williams et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.


Adaptive shifts associated with human origins are brought to light as we examine the human fossil record and study our own genome and that of our closest ape relatives. However, the more ancient roots of many human characteristics are revealed through the study of a broader array of living anthropoids and the increasingly dense fossil record of the earliest anthropoid radiations. Genomic data and fossils of early primates in Asia and Africa clarify relationships among the major clades of primates. Progress in comparative anatomy, genomics, and molecular biology point to key changes in sensory ecology and brain organization that ultimately set the stage for the emergence of the human lineage.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.
Map showing localities containing Paleogene anthropoids. Coastlines and continental positions represent roughly the situation in the early Eocene to early Oligocene. Modified from refs. and with a more northerly position of India.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.
A dendrogram of primate phylogeny with Eocene families represented based on cladograms of refs. , , and . Paleocene through Miocene is proportionally scaled; post Miocene time is not to scale.

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