Biogeography in deep time - What do phylogenetics, geology, and paleoclimate tell us about early platyrrhine evolution?

Loading...
Thumbnail Image

Date

2015-01-01

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats

95
views
104
downloads

Citation Stats

Abstract

© 2013 Elsevier Inc. Molecular data have converged on a consensus about the genus-level phylogeny of extant platyrrhine monkeys, but for most extinct taxa and certainly for those older than the Pleistocene we must rely upon morphological evidence from fossils. This raises the question as to how well anatomical data mirror molecular phylogenies and how best to deal with discrepancies between the molecular and morphological data as we seek to extend our phylogenies to the placement of fossil taxa.Here I present parsimony-based phylogenetic analyses of extant and fossil platyrrhines based on an anatomical dataset of 399 dental characters and osteological features of the cranium and postcranium. I sample 16 extant taxa (one from each platyrrhine genus) and 20 extinct taxa of platyrrhines. The tree structure is constrained with a "molecular scaffold" of extant species as implemented in maximum parsimony using PAUP with the molecular-based 'backbone' approach. The data set encompasses most of the known extinct species of platyrrhines, ranging in age from latest Oligocene (~26. Ma) to the Recent. The tree is rooted with extant catarrhines, and Late Eocene and Early Oligocene African anthropoids.Among the more interesting patterns to emerge are: (1) known early platyrrhines from the Late Oligocene through Early Miocene (26-16.5. Ma) represent only stem platyrrhine taxa; (2) representatives of the three living platyrrhine families first occur between 15.7. Ma and 13.5. Ma; and (3) recently extinct primates from the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola) are sister to the clade of extant platyrrhines and may have diverged in the Early Miocene. It is probable that the crown platyrrhine clade did not originate before about 20-24. Ma, a conclusion consistent with the phylogenetic analysis of fossil taxa presented here and with recent molecular clock estimates.The following biogeographic scenario is consistent with the phylogenetic findings and climatic and geologic evidence: Tropical South America has been a center for platyrrhine diversification since platyrrhines arrived on the continent in the middle Cenozoic. Platyrrhines dispersed from tropical South America to Patagonia at ~25-24. Ma via a "Paraná Portal" through eastern South America across a retreating Paranense Sea. Phylogenetic bracketing suggests Antillean primates arrived via a sweepstakes route or island chain from northern South America in the Early Miocene, not via a proposed land bridge or island chain (GAARlandia) in the Early Oligocene (~34. Ma). Patagonian and Antillean platyrrhines went extinct without leaving living descendants, the former at the end of the Early Miocene and the latter within the past six thousand years. Molecular evidence suggests crown platyrrhines arrived in Central America by crossing an intermittent connection through the Isthmus of Panama at or after 3.5. Ma. Any more ancient Central American primates, should they be discovered, are unlikely to have given rise to the extant Central American taxa in situ.

Department

Description

Provenance

Subjects

Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1016/j.ympev.2013.12.002

Publication Info

Kay, Richard F (2015). Biogeography in deep time - What do phylogenetics, geology, and paleoclimate tell us about early platyrrhine evolution?. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 82(PB). pp. 358–374. 10.1016/j.ympev.2013.12.002 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17654.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.

Scholars@Duke

Kay

Richard Frederick Kay

Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology

I have two areas of research:1) the evolution of primates in South America; and 2) the use of primate anatomy to reconstruct the phylogenetic history and adapations of living and extinct primates, especially Anthropoidea.

1) Evolution of primates and mammalian faunal evolution, especially in South America. For the past 30 years, I have been engaged in research in Argentina, Bolivia The Dominican Republic, Peru, and Colombia with three objectives:a) to reconstruct the evolutionary history and adaptive patterns of South America primates and other mammals; b) to establish a more precise geologic chronology for the mammalian faunas between the late Eocene and middle Miocene (between about 36 and about 15 million years ago); and c) to use anatomy and niche structure of modern mammals as a means to reconstruct the evolution of mammalian niche structure in the Neotropics.

2) Primate Anatomy. I am working to reconstruct the phylogeny of primates based (principally) on anatomical evidence; and to infer the adaptations of extinct primates based mainly on cranial and dental evidence.

Field activities
Current fieldwork is focused on the study of terrestrial biotic change in Patagonia through the 'mid-Miocene Climate Optimum' when global climate was moderate and the subtropical zone, with primates and other typically tropical vertebrates, extended their ranges up to 55 degrees of South latitude.

In this collaborative research undertaking with colleagues at University of Washington and Boise State University, the geochronology of the Santa Cruz Formation at in extreme southern Argentina is being refined using radiometric dating. Stratigraphically-controlled collections have been made of vertebrates and plant macro- and microfossils. Climate change and its impact on the biota is assessed 1) using biogeochemical analysis of stable isotopes in fossil mammalian tooth enamel; 2) by documenting changes in mammalian community structure (richness, origination and extinction rates, and ecological morphology); and 3) by documenting changes in vegetation and floral composition through the study of phytoliths. These three independent lines of evidence in a refined geochronologic framework will then be compared with similar evidence from continental sequences in the Northern Hemisphere and oceanic climatic records to improve our understanding of the timing and character of climatic change in continental high latitudes during this temporal interval.

A second field project project in its early stages is the study of the fossil vertebrates of the Amazon Basin. The latter is a collaborative effort of biologists and geologists across schools at Duke (Nicholas School) and among six North American universities. My role is to direct the vertebrate paleontology component of this project in Brazil and Amazonian Peru. The hope is to recover primates from the Oligocene through Early Miocene. New material will shed light on the phylogenetic status of African Paleogene anthropoids, one of which may be the platyrrhine sister-taxon. Also, new remains of fossil primates will help to refine hypotheses about the origins of the modern families and subfamilies of platyrrhines, all of which trace back to an Early Miocene (17-21 Ma) common ancestor. Finally, new fossil primates may further constrain the time of entry of platyrrhines into South America.


Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.