Proximal femoral anatomy of a sivaladapid primate from the late middle Eocene Pondaung formation (central Myanmar)

Laurent Marivaux, K Christopher Beard, Yaowalak Chaimanee, Jean-Jacques Jaeger, Bernard Marandat, Aung Naing Soe, Soe Thura Tun, Aung Aung Kyaw
American Journal of Physical Anthropology 2008, 137 (3): 263-73
The postcranial anatomy of the Asian sivaladapid adapiforms is still virtually undocumented, whereas dental remains of these primates have been known for several decades. Little is known about their positional behavior as a result. In this article, we describe a partial left femur of a medium-sized primate preserving its entire proximal portion and a significant length of its shaft. This fossil was recently recovered from the fossiliferous locality of Thamingyauk in the late middle Eocene Pondaung Formation (central Myanmar). This femur is considered to pertain to the same individual as two tarsal elements (fragmentary talus and calcaneus) from the same locality (same location), and attributed to a medium-sized sivaladapid adapiform primate (Kyitchaungia takaii). This new postcranial element provides the first documentation of femoral anatomy among Sivaladapidae from Asia. The mechanical implications deriving from the musculoskeletal interpretation of this bone indicate an animal that probably engaged in a kind of active arboreal quadrupedalism with some degree of proficiency in leaping. Even though many musculoskeletal aspects suggest that branch walking and running were important parts of its locomotor repertoire, in other details it appears that relatively complex movements at the hip joint were actually possible and probably associated with climbing or some hindlimb suspensory activities.

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