Fossil Old World monkeys (Primates, Cercopithecidae) from the Pliocene of Dorkovo, Bulgaria

Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Ulpia Serdica, Sofia-Capital, Bulgaria
GEODIVERSITAS (Impact Factor: 0.95). 03/2005; 27(1):159-166.


Two colobine species occur at the early Pliocene (MN 14) locality of Dorkovo: Dolichopithecus ruscinensis Depéret, 1889 and Mesopithecus mons-pessulanus (Gervais, 1849). Such an association is known from at least three other Ruscinian or earliest Villafranchian sites, and at two other localities a cercopithecine taxon joins the two colobines. The large colobine from the Kuchurgan localities of Ukraine has previously been considered either a dis-tinct genus or a separate species of Dolichopithecus, but it is here syno-mymized with D . ruscinensis; an isolated Kuchurgan molar previously published as a macaque is here tentatively re-identified as a colobine, perhaps M . monspessulanus. No temporal patterning has been observed either for asso-ciations among these Pliocene genera or of size change within the two Dorkovo taxa.

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Available from: Spassov Nikolay, Jan 30, 2014
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    • "Most age estimates taken from MN attributions in Fortelius (2011), except for Greek localities (Koufos, 2009a, b), Grebenkiki 1 (Andrews et al., 1996; Eronen and Rook, 2004), Kumanovo (based on the local geology, see Dumurdzanov et al., 2004 since the locality is unpublished), Casino (Pradella and Rook, 2007), Hatvan (Bernor et al., 2003), Red Crag (Delson, 1974, 1994), Moncucco (Alba et al., 2014), and Venta del Moro (Gibert et al., 2013). b Most significant taxonomic references: Delson (1973, 1974, 1975, 1994), Szalay and Delson (1979), Heintz et al. (1981), de Bonis et al. (1990, 1997), Zapfe (1991), Kullmer (1991), Mottura and Ardito (1992), Kullmer and Doukas (1995), Andrews et al. (1996), Gentili et al. (1998), Rook (1999), K€ ohler et al. (1999), Koufos et al. (2003, 2004), Eronen and Rook (2004), Delson et al. (2005), Koufos (2006a, 2009a "
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    ABSTRACT: We report dental remains of the extinct colobine monkey Mesopithecus from the Turolian (MN13, Late Miocene, ca. 6.23 Ma) locality of Venta del Moro (Valencia, Spain). They include most of the deciduous dentition and the unerupted germs of the first molars of a single infantile individual, as well as two lower left lateral incisors from two additional individuals. On the basis of morphometric comparisons, mainly based on the M1s, these remains are attributed to the Late Miocene species Mesopithecus pentelicus. They represent a significant addition to the knowledge of the deciduous dentition of this taxon, much less well-known than the permanent dentition. Although this genus was widely distributed from the Late Miocene through the Pliocene across Europe, southwestern Asia, Pakistan, and China, until now its occurence in the Late Miocene of the Iberian Peninsula had not been documented conclusively. Hence, the reported remains considerably enlarge southwestwards the known geographic distribution of Mesopithecus. The presence of this genus at Venta del Moro must be understood within the framework of the significant faunal turnover that took place in European faunas during the latest Turolian (the second Messinian mammalian dispersal), which is further documented at this locality by the occurrence of other eastern immigrants. At the same time, the presence of M. pentelicus at this site agrees well with previous paleoenvironmental and sedimentological evidence, indicating a lacustrine depositional environment with strong hydrologic seasonality.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Human Evolution
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    • "It has been tentatively suggested that Me. pentelicus and Me. monspessulanus might have coexisted at the MN13 locality of Dytiko-2 in Greece (Bonis et al., 1990, 1997; Andrews et al., 1996; Koufos et al., 2004; Delson et al., 2005; Koufos, 2009a,b). The few Mesopithecus specimens from the MN13 of Baccinello V3 in Italy are metrically similar to both species (Rook, 1999) and might indicate the presence of either or both (Rook, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Cercopithecid fossil remains from the post-evaporitic Messinian (5.40-5.33 Ma, MN13, latest Turolian, latest Miocene) locality of Moncucco Torinese (Tertiary Piedmont Basin, NW Italy) are described. A talus is assigned to the fossil colobine Mesopithecus pentelicus, while a proximal fragment of ulna and a male lower canine are attributed to cf. Me.pentelicus. An isolated I(2) and M3 are assigned to the papionin cf. Macaca sp., and two cercopithecid phalanges are left unassigned even to the subfamily level. The record of Mesopithecus at Moncucco Torinese agrees well with the previously-known range of this species in Italy and elsewhere in Europe, whereas that of cf. Macaca constitutes only the second occurrence of macaques in the Miocene of Eurasia. Although the co-occurrence of these two genera in a single locality had been previously reported in the Pliocene, this is the first instance in which macaques are associated with the Late Miocene M. pentelicus instead of Mesopithecus monspessulanus. The record of cf. Macaca and Mesopithecus-and especially the latter's talar morphology, similar to that of extant arboreal colobines-fits well with paleoenvironmental reconstructions of Moncucco Torinese based on the associated fauna, which indicate a humid and densely-forested environment, probably with more open and drier habitats nearby. From a paleobiogeographic viewpoint, the record of Macaca at Moncucco Torinese, together with the previously reported occurrence at Almenara-Casablanca M (Spain), supports the contention that macaques dispersed from Africa into Europe during the latest Miocene (ca. 5.9-5.3 Ma) at the same time as the sea level drop associated with the Messinian Salinity Crisis.
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    • "latively seasonal woodland savannas towards southeastern Europe . The relatively open habitats that these immigrants encountered in Europe resulted in a group of mainly semi - terrestrial forms with variable commitment to ter - restriality ( Jablonski , 2002 ) , with the exception of later forms that appeared to be adapted to more humid habitats ( Delson et al . , 2005 ) ."
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    ABSTRACT: The genus Mesopithecus is well represented in the late Miocene of Greece by several recognized species. The present paper investigates functional aspects of the humeri of Mesopithecus delsoni/pentelicus, M. pentelicus and M. aff. pentelicus of several Turolian sites from central and northern Greece, using multivariate approaches. For these purposes, we selected significant humeral functional features, which were represented by 23 linear dimensions and three angles on 14 fossil humeri and 104 humeri from 10 genera and 22 species of extant African and Asian Colobines. All size-adjusted measurements were examined through a principal components analysis, followed by a discriminant function analysis, and a canonical variates analysis. All analyses revealed that the selected characters were able to discriminate between extant colobine genera. Functional groups, such as arboreal walking/climbing, arboreal walking/suspensory and semi-terrestrial walking, were set apart from a central cluster formed by the arboreal walking and arboreal walking/terrestrial groups. This cluster also grouped the three studied Mesopithecus species, which were mainly classified as arboreal walkers with significant terrestrial activities. These observations match with paleoenvironmental reconstructions and the suggested opportunistic feeding habits. Moreover, the overall arboreal/terrestrial locomotor tendencies of these fossil forms are discussed in relation to their earlier migration from Africa and later dispersal to eastern and southern Asia.
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