New insights into the ear region anatomy and cranial blood supply of advanced stem Strepsirhini: evidence from three primate petrosals from the Eocene of Chambi, Tunisia.

Abstract:

:We report the discovery of three isolated primate petrosal fragments from the fossiliferous locality of Chambi (Tunisia), a primate-bearing locality dating from the late early to the early middle Eocene. These fossils display a suite of anatomical characteristics otherwise found only in strepsirhines, and as such might be attributed either to Djebelemur or/and cf. Algeripithecus, the two diminutive stem strepsirhine primates recorded from this locality. Although damaged, the petrosals provide substantial information regarding the ear anatomy of these advanced stem strepsirhines (or pre-tooth-combed primates), notably the patterns of the pathway of the arterial blood supply. Using μCT-scanning techniques and digital segmentation of the structures, we show that the transpromontorial and stapedial branches of the internal carotid artery (ICA) were present (presence of bony tubes), but seemingly too small to supply enough blood to the cranium alone. This suggests that the ICA was not the main cranial blood supply in stem strepsirhines, but that the pharyngeal or vertebral artery primitively ensured a great part of this role instead, an arterial pattern that is reminiscent of modern cheirogaleid, lepilemurid lemuriforms and lorisiforms. This could explain parallel loss of the ICA functionality among these families. Specific measurements made on the cochlea indicate that the small strepsirhine primate(s) from Chambi was (were) highly sensitive to high frequencies and poorly sensitive to low frequencies. Finally, variance from orthogonality of the plane of the semicircular canals (SCs) calculated on one petrosal (CBI-1-569) suggests that Djebelemur or cf. Algeripithecus likely moved (at least its head) in a way similar to that of modern mouse lemurs.

journal_name

J Hum Evol

authors

Benoit J,Essid el M,Marzougui W,Khayati Ammar H,Lebrun R,Tabuce R,Marivaux L

doi

10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.06.014

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2013-11-01 00:00:00

pages

551-72

issue

5

eissn

0047-2484

issn

1095-8606

pii

S0047-2484(13)00160-7

journal_volume

65

pub_type

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