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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Jun 25;93(13):6405-9.

A new extinct primate among the Pleistocene megafauna of Bahia, Brazil.

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  • 1Instituto de Geociencias, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.


A nearly complete skeleton of a robust-bodied New World monkey that resembles living spider monkeys was recovered from undisturbed Pleistocene deposits in the Brazilian state of Bahia. The skeleton displays the highly specialized postcranial pattern typical of spider and woolly spider monkeys and shares cranial similarities to the spider monkey exclusively. It is generically distinct on the basis of its robustness (>20 kg) and on the shape of its braincase. This new genus indicates that New World monkeys nearly twice the size of those living today were part of the mammalian biomass of southern Amazonia in the late Pleistocene. The discovery of this specimen expands the known adaptive diversity of New World monkeys and demonstrates that they underwent body size expansion in the terminal Pleistocene, as did many other types of mammals.

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