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Nasal architecture of Paradolichopithecus arvernensis (late Pliocene, Senèze, France) and its phyletic implications

Takeshi Nishimura, Brigitte Senut, Abel Prieur, Jacque Treil and Masanaru Takai

 Paradolichopithecus is a large cercopithecine primates which is known from the middle Pliocene to the early Pleistocene of western Eurasia. Its phylogenetic position within the tribe Papionini is still debated: despite the baboon-like appearance of the skull, many cranial external features of European specimens suggest affinities with macaques rather than baboons. It is widely recognized that among extant cercopithecoids the maxillary sinus occurs only in macaques. P. sushkini from the late Pliocene of Kuruksay, southern Tajikistan, had a small maxillary sinus, supporting the idea that this genus belongs to the lineage of macaques rather than that of baboons. We applied computed tomography to the Paradolichopithecus cranium discovered at Senèze, France. No distinct maxillary sinus can be seen; a thin maxillary body with a large inferior meatus can be observed at the M1–2 level, and at the M3 level it thickens and is isolated from the middle meatus by a continuous bony wall. Although a maxillary sinus might have been restricted at the maxillary tubercles, such morphology strongly suggests that no maxillary sinus developed in this specimen. This discrepancy in the presence or absence of the maxillary sinus in the Senèze and Kuruksay specimens indicate a more complicated evolutionary history of Paradolichopithecus in the tribe Papionini than previously thought.

Journal of Human Evolution, 56(2): 213-217 (2009)


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