Essay on Aegyptopithecus

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Anthropology

Document 1

Presumably, each character trait found in Aegyptopithecus would have some sort of fitness benefit or trade-off. Additionally, by determining whether Aegyptopithecus shares derived traits or primitive traits with extant primate species allows one to group this species in a phylogenetic manner. As a result, using various important characteristics of a species behavior, diet, matting systems, biology, and socioecology can be derived by studying the Aegyptopithecus fossil remains. Studying the Aegyptopithecus fossil remains can inform anthropologist and evolutionary biologist of when a specific trait evolved and its purpose. For example, the evolution of a smaller olfactory bulb in Aegyptopithecus predicts a shift away from smell and towards the use of vision as a predominate sensory mechanism, a common characteristic that defines the primate clade.

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Pithecus draws its name from the Greek language which stands for the word “ape” (Radinsky 241). In 1963, archaeologist E. L. Simons et al. commenced excavating fossils in Egypt and by 1965, the team were successful in finding what later became a specimen; a lower jaw containing three teeth plus pother two jaw fragments belonging to an ape which was later termed to as Aegyptopithecus. Also, in this species, the canines seem to be quite sexually dimorphic while the soaring mandibular ramus are quite broad. The orbits are relatively small and dorsally oriented which means that this species was diurnal and demonstrated postorbital constriction. Aegyptopithecus Zeuxis’s interorbital distance is quite large similar to one found in colobines. Among older individuals, a sagittal crest developed and it stretches to the brow ridges.

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Its auditory region appears to be similar as the one in platyrrhines and it had its tympanic attached to bulla’s lateral surface and it also lacked bony tube. It has a shattered face and its frontal bone is displaced some centimeters posteriorly and the right parietal is reconstructed extensively. The skull contains all zygomas although it does lack right and left zygomatic arches. The nasal bones and face have been reconstructed although the absence of x-rays belonging to the original fossil it is challenging to pinpoint the areas that underwent reconstruction. This reconstruction always makes use of wax ad clay. Being able to determine this is essential in ascertaining if the specimen is prognathic as its appearance. Zeuxis. However, there exists a controversy on whether Aegyptopithecus is its own genus or should be grouped under Propliopithecus.

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Well, most scientists group species Aegyptopithecus Zeuxis under family group Propliopithecidae. Propiopithecidae belongs only on the Egyptian Fayum Oligocene deposits. There exists merely two genres within this family (Simons, et al. He bases his arguments on the fact that these two are totally distinct as modern gorillas are to chimpanzees and therefore they need to be of separate genera within the family Propliopithecidae. Also, Oligopithecus might be a part of the family (Leakey, et al. Some scientists have also brought up the idea that Aegyptopithecus and Propliopithecus belong to the ancestral genus Dryopithecus. And most scholars oftebn show an unwarranted amount of confidence whenever talking about human ancestors. C. Their body size was small with an average weight of between 4-6 kgs.

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Because of being sexually dimorphic, its social structure is regarded to have been polygynous and lived in passionate competition for the females. Elywn L. Simons asserts that “A. Zeuxis demonstrates extreme sexual dimorphism in craniodental morphology (apparently to a degree otherwise seen only in only some highly dimorphic Miocene catarrhines), and the crania of female Aegyptopithecus lack a number of morphological features seen in larger males that have been accorded phylogenetic significance in catarrhine systemics (e. Based on paleomagnetic dating, sites 33 Ma and are steady with Oligocene epoch. The presence of loose sand and the nature of the landscape easily helped in identifying these remains. Actually, the archeologists had no hard time in obtaining the fossils as strong windstorm exposed them.

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Using the femoral neck angle which stands at 120-130 degrees, the femur resembles to quadrupedal anthropoid. However, the morphology of greater trochanter is dissimilar to that of leaping primates which shows more evidence regarding quadrupedalism in animals. Therefore, during this period, the climate suited wild fruits which helped the survival of this primate ancestor. A frugivore specializes on fruit eating and in this case the Aegyptopithecus even most primates are omnivorous and herbivores. The abundance of nutritional composition found in these wild plants enabled their bodies to grow larger compared to their predecessors (Simons, et al. In conclusion, the discovery of different species within the Fayun region is a clear demonstration of the different primates that lived in the area during the early Oligocene period.

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