THE FIRST EVOLUTIONARY RADIATION OF PRIMATES
Dr. Stephen Chester
Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Brooklyn College, C.U.N.Y.
and the CUNY Graduate Center and
New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology
Sunday, March, 19, 2017 2:00 P.M. Room 319
American Museum of Natural History New York City
Vertebrate paleontologists, biological anthropologists, and other evolutionary biologists have long been interested in primate origins, the first clear step in the divergence of primates, including humans, from all other mammals. Evolutionary relationships among fossil plesiadapiforms (putative stem primates) and other closely related euarchontan mammals (primates, treeshrews, and colugos) have been debated for decades. Several recent phylogenetic analyses suggest that plesiadapiforms are most closely related to primates of modern aspect, and are therefore critical for testing hypotheses regarding the origin and earliest evolutionary history of primates.
This presentation will focus on aspects of the first 10 million years of euarchontan evolution following the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs. This includes new and virtually undescribed fossil specimens such as the first ankle bones of the oldest known plesiadapiform, Purgatorius, the oldest known partial skeleton of a plesiadapiform, and several additional partial skeletons of primitive plesiadapiforms. These and other new data provide better resolution to questions about evolutionary relationships, taxonomy, and paleobiology of our earliest primate ancestors.
N.Y.P.S. MEETING DATES FOR THE YEAR
These are the meeting dates of the New York Paleontological Society for the 2016-2017 season. We meet at 2:00 P.M. in room 319 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (79th Street and Central Park West), unless otherwise specified. Our Annual Party will be held at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering in Brooklyn, N.Y. Due to changes in the museum’s schedule, the above dates may change (usually very unlikely), so check your Newsletter or the monthly meeting notice on this website.