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J Hum Evol. 2010 Dec;59(6):595-607. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2010.06.008. Epub 2010 Oct 16.

The bony labyrinth of the early platyrrhine primate Chilecebus.

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Division of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024,


We document the morphology of the bony labyrinth of Chilecebus carrascoensis, one of the best preserved early platyrrhines known, based on high resolution CT scanning and 3D digital reconstruction. The cochlea is low and conical in form, as in other anthropoids, but has only 2.5 spiral turns. When the allometric relationship with body mass is considered, cochlear size is similar to that in extant primates. The relative size of the semicircular canals, which is well within the range of other primates, indicates that Chilecebus carrascoensis was probably not as agile in its locomotion as other small-bodied platyrrhines such as Leontopithecus rosalia, Saguinus oedipus, and Callithrix jacchus, but it probably was not a suspensory acrobat or a slow climber. The proportion, shape, and orientation of the semicircular canals in Chilecebus carrascoensis also mirror that typically seen in extant primates. However, no single variable can be used for predicting the locomotor pattern in Chilecebus carrascoensis. Based on Principle Component Analysis (PCA) scores we calculated rescaled Euclidean distances for various taxa; primates with similar locomotor patterns tend to share shorter distances. Results for Chilecebus carrascoensis underscore its general resemblance to living quadrupedal primate taxa, but it is not positioned especially near any single living taxon.

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