To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Early Arrival and Climati… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Early Arrival and Climatically-Linked Geographic Expansion of New World Monkeys from Tiny African Ancestors

Journal article
Authors Daniele Silvestro
Marcelo Tejedor
M. L. Serrano-Serrano
O. Loiseau
V. Rossier
J. Rolland
Alexander Zizka
S. Höhna
Alexandre Antonelli
N. Salamin
Published in Systematic biology
Volume 68
Issue 1
Pages 78-92
ISSN 1076-836X
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 78-92
Language en
Keywords Africa, anatomy and histology, animal, classification, climate, fossil, phylogeny, Platyrrhini, Animals, Fossils
Subject categories Biological Systematics


New World Monkeys (NWM) (platyrrhines) are one of the most diverse groups of primates, occupying today a wide range of ecosystems in the American tropics and exhibiting large variations in ecology, morphology, and behavior. Although the relationships among the almost 200 living species are relatively well understood, we lack robust estimates of the timing of origin, ancestral morphology, and geographic range evolution of the clade. Herein, we integrate paleontological and molecular evidence to assess the evolutionary dynamics of extinct and extant platyrrhines. We develop novel analytical frameworks to infer the evolution of body mass, changes in latitudinal ranges through time, and species diversification rates using a phylogenetic tree of living and fossil taxa. Our results show that platyrrhines originated 5-10 million years earlier than previously assumed, dating back to the Middle Eocene. The estimated ancestral platyrrhine was small-weighing 0.4 kg-and matched the size of their presumed African ancestors. As the three platyrrhine families diverged, we recover a rapid change in body mass range. During the Miocene Climatic Optimum, fossil diversity peaked and platyrrhines reached their widest latitudinal range, expanding as far South as Patagonia, favored by warm and humid climate and the lower elevation of the Andes. Finally, global cooling and aridification after the middle Miocene triggered a geographic contraction of NWM and increased their extinction rates. These results unveil the full evolutionary trajectory of an iconic and ecologically important radiation of monkeys and showcase the necessity of integrating fossil and molecular data for reliably estimating evolutionary rates and trends.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?