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Adapis parisiensis


Adapis parisiensis has a dental formula of 2:1:4:3 on both the upper and lower jaw (Fleagle, 1988). The upper central incisors are broad and spatulate and there is a gap between their bases (Fleagle, 1988). No sexual dimorphism occurred in the size of the upper canines (Fleagle, 1988). The lower incisors and canines form a single cutting edge suggesting a possible exaptation for the tooth comb seen in extant lemurs (Fleagle, 1988). The incisors also have fine parallel striations that are also found in extant lemurs, suggesting their use in grooming (Fleagle, 1988). Although Martin (1990) suggest that this species did not have a toothcomb, but the lower dentition shows an adaptation for dietary reasons. This species had molars and premolars that were long, narrow, and had high shearing crests (Fleagle, 1988). The upper molars of this species have a true hypocone (Martin, 1990). The symphysis of the lower jaw was fused which is a character lacking in extant strepsirrhines (Martin, 1990). The skull of this species is low and broad with a small braincase and flaring zygomatic arches (Fleagle, 1988). Evidence shows that the brain of this species had a true Sylvian sulcus (Martin, 1990). This true Sylvian sulcus may be connected with the expansion of the visual cortex (Martin, 1990). The orbits of this species are small relative to other adapids suggesting that this was a diurnal species (Fleagle, 1988). This species had a relatively large temporal fossa (Fleagle, 1988). The auditory region has an inflated bulla with a free tympanic (Fleagle, 1988). A canal exists for the stapedial artery and a groove for a promontory artery (Fleagle, 1988). This species had an average body mass of around 1.3 kilograms (Fleagle, 1988).

Adapis parisiensis was found in Europe and occurred during the late Eocene to the early Oligocene, going extinct during the major European faunal turnover called the Grand Coupure (Fleagle, 1988).

Based on dental morphology, the high shearing crests of the molars, this species most likely had a folivorous diet (Fleagle, 1988).

Based upon the limb bones this species most likely had a slow climbing arboreal quadrupedalism type of locomotion much like that of the extant Nycticebus coucang and Perodicticus potto (Fleagle, 1988).

Fleagle, J.G. 1988. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press: New York.

Martin, R.D. 1990. Primate Origins and Evolution: A Phylogenetic Reconstruction. Princeton University Press: Princeton, New Jersey.

Last updated: January 24, 2002

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