New Insights into Old Lemurs: The Trophic Adaptations of the Archaeolemuridae

Authors: Godfrey, Laurie1; Semprebon, Gina2; Schwartz, Gary3; Burney, David4; Jungers, William5; Flanagan, Erin6; Cuozzo, Frank7; King, Stephen7

Source: International Journal of Primatology, Volume 26, Number 4, August 2005 , pp. 825-854(30)

Publisher: Springer

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Modern tools of paleoecological and ecomorphological research have enabled researchers to reconstruct the lifeways of extinct species more thoroughly than ever before. We apply a variety of tools in an attempt to reconstruct the diets of the extinct archaeolemurids of Madagascar. Our data include dental use wear (examined across species and across ontogenetic series of single species), enamel microstructure, enamel thickness, and 13C. The data are complemented by field data on the environmental contexts in which the species lived and 14C determinations that demonstrate the surprisingly late survival of archaeolemurids. Several lines of evidence converge to suggest that all archaeolemurid species were hard-object processors, but with different diets and different methods of food processing. Past reconstructions of the diet of Hadropithecus as a specialized grass consumer fail under the scrutiny of multiple lines of evidence.

Keywords: 13C; Archaeolemur; Hadropithecus; Madagascar; dental microstructure; diet; ecomorphology; microwear; paleoecology

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Anthropology, Univ. Mass. Amherst, Massachusetts, 01003, Email: 2: Bay Path College, Longmeadow, Massachusetts, 01106, 3: Anthropology and Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 85287, 4: Biological Sciences, Fordham University, New York, New York, 10458, 5: Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, 11794, 6: Anthropology, Univ. Mass. Amherst, Massachusetts, 01003, 7: Anthropology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, 58202,

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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