- Art Gallery -

Europolemur koenigswaldi

Europolemur koenigswaldi, Photo: Michael Lahanas#

Europolemur was a genus of adapiformes primates that lived in Europe during the Eocene.

Europolemur klatti

Europolemur klatti was an medium to large size adapiformes primate that lived on the continent of Europe from the middle to early Eocene.[1] The most recent relative to this species,appearing to be so from the Geiseltal localities of the DDR, is a recently discovered primate, Mahgarita stevensi, whose type specimen is about the size of Lepilemur leucopus. This relationship to M. stevensi suggests that eastern North America was the possible homeland of lemuriformes with close European phylogenetic ties during the Eocene. Characteristic of most adapines are the reduced or absence of a paraconid and morphology of the paracristid. These and a few other features are synapomorphies that were used to link E. klatti with Leptadapis priscus and Microadapis sciureus, as well as Smilodectes.

Europolemur koenigswaldi fossil

Europolemur klatti is part of a group of long-digited fossils, and most likely approximates early euprimate hand proportions. E. klatti has a grasping hallux and there is evidence that supports that E. klatti may have had nails instead of claws.[2] This insinuates that stabilizing the tips of the digits and hand must have in some way been an important function for them and their lifestyle in their habitat. Relative to the forearm, the hand of E. klatti was large which may be related to vertical climbing or posture. The shape of the calcaneus resembles that found in Smilodectes and Notharctus and E. klatti had an average body mass of 1.7 kilograms.[1]


In 1995, two isolated upper molars belonging to E. klatti were found in an old lake deposit during excavations done by the "Naturhistorisches Museum Mainz/Landessammlung fur Naturkunde Rheinland-Pfalz".[3] The museum determined that the molars (as well as a mandible with nearly complete dentition belonging to another cercamoiines, Periconodon) were representative of the first primates from the Middle Eocene Eckfeld maar in Southwest Eifel, Germany ^2. E. klatti has a dental formula of Upper:, lower:[2][4] (permanent dentition) and a deciduous dentition of Upper:, lower:[2] One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the genus Europolemur is the lack of a metaconule. The dental anatomy of their genus is described in more detail by Franzen as consisting of "upper canines big and pointed; upper molars without postflexus; postprotocrista prominent; no metaconulus; M3 smaller and shorter than M2; P4 much shorter than broad, with a weak parastyle; P4 with a small and unicuspid talonid and a metaconid present to absent; protocristid of M nearly transversely oriented. Protoconid of P3 little higher than that of P4." [5]


^ a b Fleagle, J. G. (1998). Primate Adaptation and Evolution (2 ed.). Academic Press. ISBN 978-0122603419.
^ a b c Martin, R.D. (1990). Primate Origins and Evolution: A Phylogenetic Reconstruction. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691085654.
^ "First fossil primates from Eckfeld Maar, Middle Eocene (Eifel, Germany)". Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae (Birkhäuser Basel) 97 (2): 213–220. August 2004. doi:10.1007/s00015-004-1115-8.
^ Franzen, J.L. (1987). "Ein neuer Primate aus dem Mitteleozan der Grube Messel (Deutschland, S-Hessen)". Courier Forschungs-Institut Senckenberg 91: 151–187.
^ Franzen, J.L. (2004). "First Fossil Primates from Eckfeld Maar, Middle Eocene (Eifel, Germany)". Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae 97 (2): 213–220. doi:10.1007/s00015-004-1115-8.

Covert, H. 1990. Phylogenetic Relationships among the Notharctinae of North America. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Vol. 81,Issue 3, 381-398.

Godinot, M. 1966. Functional Approaches of Paleogene Primate Hands. Geobios. Vol. 24, Issue SUPPLE. 1, 161-173.

Godinot, M. 1992. Early Euprimitive Hands in Evolutionary Perspective. Journal of Human Evolution. Vol. 22, Issue 4-5, 267-283.

Wilson, J.A. 1976. New Adapid Primate of European Affinities from Texas. Folia Primatologica. Vol. 25, Issue 4, 294-312.

Biology Encyclopedia

Mammals Images

Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License