Body Mass Estimates for Eocene Eosimiid and Amphipithecid Primates Using Prosimian and Anthropoid Scaling Models


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Abstract

We estimated body masses for middle to late Eocene East Asian eosimiids and amphipithecids from the crown areas of cheek teeth. First, we calculated body mass estimate equations via an extant primate sample of 11 prosimian and 30 anthropoid species, and compared the reliability of the resulting body mass estimate regressions. M1–2 and M1–2 are better body mass estimators, especially for fossils with few samples, because of their low intraspecific variations in dimensions. Moreover, body masses derived from M1–2 tend to indicate lower estimate error than those from other cheek teeth. The relationships between tooth crown areas and body mass differ between prosimians and anthropoids; the estimated body mass from crown area of P4 or any molar will be larger if anthropoids, instead of prosimians, are used as a reference taxon. Second, We applied the regressions to the fossil primates. The estimated body masses in kg are as follows: Eosimias centennicus, 0.16; E. sinensis, 0.14; Eosimiidae indet. from the Pondaung Formation, ≤0.41; Bahinia pondaungensis, 0.57; Myanmarpithecus yarshensis, 1.8; Amphipithecus mogaungensis, 6.8; Pondaungia cotteri, 5.9; Pondaungia savagei, 8.8; Siamopithecus eocaenus, 5.9. Eosimiids fit the prosimian model better than the anthropoid model. Amphipithecids do not fit one model particularly better than the other, as the estimates vary considerably according to the tooth used and the reference taxon. The anthropoid model gives smaller differences between upper- and lower-molar-based body mass estimates, but premolars are relatively much smaller in amphipithecids than in extant prosimians and anthropoids.

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