New Uintan primates from Texas and their implications for North American patterns of species richness during the Eocene

Blythe A Williams, E Christopher Kirk
Journal of Human Evolution 2008, 55 (6): 927-41
New omomyid fossils from the Purple Bench locality of the Devil's Graveyard Formation, middle Eocene (Uintan) of southwest Texas, are described. One specimen represents a new genus and species, herein named Diablomomys dalquesti. This new species is allocated to the tribe Omomyini, sister taxon to Omomys and Chumashius. A second specimen represents a range extension of the Utah species Mytonius hopsoni to the Trans-Pecos region of Texas. Previously, only one omomyid species (Omomys carteri) had been documented from Purple Bench and other late Uintan localities in the Devil's Graveyard Formation. These new omomyid fossils are of particular significance because Purple Bench is stratigraphically intermediate between the older late Bridgerian/early Uintan localities and the younger Duchesnean localities of Trans-Pecos Texas. With a more southerly location in the continental United States, the Devil's Graveyard Formation amplifies our understanding of patterns of North American primate richness at a time when the higher-latitude sites of the western interior were undergoing significant climatic cooling and increases in seasonality with commensurate faunal reorganization. Although the Uintan (approximately 46.5-40Ma) was a time in which anaptomorphine richness decreased dramatically, the results of this analysis suggest that Uintan omomyine richness is higher than was previously appreciated, particularly at lower latitudes.

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