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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/16755

Title: Evolutionary History and Biogeography of Papionin Monkeys
Authors: Folinsbee, Kaila
Advisor: Reisz, Robert R.
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Keywords: primate
phylogenetic systematics
Pliocene
Pleistocene
Africa
fossil
Issue Date: 19-Jan-2009
Abstract: Climate change has been invoked to explain patterns of speciation, extinction and biogeographic change over time, however it can be a difficult hypothesis to test empirically. One area of particular interest is climate change in the African Neogene, linked with the origin of hominins. A perfect model clade to test these hypotheses is the papionin monkeys, a diverse group (both extinct and extant), represented by an excellent fossil record. I describe new fossil papionin specimens from Coopers Cave, South Africa, and redescribe and discuss some previously known fossil material. This rich data set provides a necessary deep-time perspective, and, in conjunction with independently generated data, can be used to test hypotheses related to climatic and geological events (such as increasing late Pleistocene aridity and persistence of forest refugia) that may be directly linked to patterns of speciation and biogeographic distribution in the fossil record and in living species. Testing these hypotheses requires a robust phylogenetic hypothesis. I collected morphological character data for a species-level phylogenetic analysis of the papionin clade in order to reconstruct the phylogeny of the group. My analysis found that the living species Theropithecus gelada is nested within extinct theropiths, and is primitive relative to the Pleistocene taxa Theropithecus darti, T. oswaldi and T. leakeyi. Also falling within the theropith lineage are the early Pliocene taxon Pliopapio, the South African taxa Dinopithecus and Gorgopithecus, and two species whose relationships were uncertain until my analysis. “Papio” quadratirostris and “Papio” baringensis are nested within the theropiths, and should be referred to the genus Theropithecus. Biogeographic analysis demonstrates that papionin monkeys share a similar pattern with other Neogene African mammals; they first disperse out of Africa during the mid-Miocene, return to Africa by the late Miocene and undergo a series of vicariant speciation events and range restriction to central Africa, but disperse out into eastern and southern Africa by the Pleistocene. These speciation and dispersal events are tightly correlated with global climatic and tectonic changes.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/16755
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology - Doctoral theses

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