Abstract # 134:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 02:45 PM-03:05 PM: Session 11 (Parliament Room) Oral Presentation


Positional and locomotor behavior of Paradolichopithecus arvernensis as inferred from the functional morphology of the postcrania

S. Frost1, N. Ting2, W. Harcourt-Smith3,4 and E. Delson2,3,4
1Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon, 1218 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA, 2Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York, 3American Museum of Natural History, 4Lehman College, City University of New York
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     Paradolichopithecus arvernensis is a large bodied Papionin known from Pliocene localities from Europe, and possibly Asia, similar in size to extant Papio. The Late Pliocene localities of Valea Graunceanului, Romania and Vatera, Greece have yielded a number of postcranial elements including several partial humeri, ulnae, radii, femora, one distal tibia, astragalus, third metatarsal, and several phalanges. The postcranial material assigned to P. arvernensis is compared to a sizable sample of extant cercopithecids whose positional behavior has been described by various authors. Comparative techniques include observation and description of qualitative characters, metric analysis using several standard metrics, as well as geometric morphometric analysis of three-dimensional landmark data. While the exact nature of positional behaviors is impossible to estimate, the results do indicate that P. arvernensis probably utilized a comparatively large amount of terrestrial positional behaviors, similar to extant Papio and Theropithecus, perhaps exceeding that of any known macaque species. This interpretation is supported by the short retroflexed medial epicondyle, long medial trochlear margin, retroflexed olecranon process, talar morphology, and short robust phalangeal shape reflected in both the standard metrics and geometric morphometrics. This estimation is consistent with the habitat reconstructions for Vatera and Valea Graunceanului that suggest relatively open savanna woodlands. The postcranial similarities between these forms are likely to be convergences due to adoption of similar positional behaviors and are not likely to represent synapomorphies, as the cranial material of P. arvernensis appears to link it with the macaques. Funding: NSF DBI 9602234 (NYCEP) and ACI 9982351 (NYCEP Morphometrics Group).