Necrolemur anadoni, a new species of Microchoerinae (Omomyidae, Primates) from the Middle Eocene of Sant Jaume de Frontanyà (Pyrenees, Northeastern Spain)

Am J Phys Anthropol. 2015 Dec;158(4):730-44. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22867. Epub 2015 Sep 21.


Objectives: The material of Necrolemur (Microchoerinae, Omomyidae, Primates) from the Middle Eocene (Robiacian) locality of Sant Jaume de Frontanyà (Eastern Pyrenees) is described. This is the first confirmable record of this genus from Spain.

Methods: A mandible fragment bearing P4 -M3 and 15 isolated teeth have been carefully described and compared with all the known species of Necrolemur (namely Necrolemur antiquus, Necrolemur zitteli and Necrolemur cf. zitteli from Egerkingen α) and with Nannopithex filholi.

Results: The studied material shows substantial differences from all previously described forms of Necrolemur and can be erected as a new species. Necrolemur anadoni sp. nov. is characterized by its small size, weak enamel wrinkling, lower molars with the trigonid significantly narrower than the talonid, distinct paraconid in the M1 but poorly differentiated M2 and M3 paraconids, relatively short M3 hypoconulid lobe, M(1-2) with tubercular buccal metaconule, crest-shaped lingual metaconule, hypocone connected to the protocone by a weak postprotocingulum, and M(3) with a very reduced talon basin. It exhibits intermediate size and morphological features between the older Nannopithex filholi and the more recent Necrolemur antiquus.

Conclusions: This finding allows reinterpretation of the phylogenetic relationships of the known species of Necrolemur. Necrolemur anadoni is considered a direct descendant of Nannopithex filholi and the ancestor of Necrolemur antiquus, whereas Necrolemur zitteli would be a descendant of N. antiquus. Finally, Necrolemur cf. zitteli from Egerkingen most likely evolved independently from N. filholi, being thus separated from the N. filholi-N. anadoni-N. antiquus lineage.

Keywords: Iberian Peninsula; Paleogene; Robiacian; microchoerines.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fossils*
  • Mandible / anatomy & histology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Primates / anatomy & histology*
  • Primates / classification*
  • Spain
  • Tooth / anatomy & histology*