Ampasambazimba

 

Hidden Feature. 19: (Looking for stories between these animals).

 

Mesopropithecus was named in 1905 by Herbert F. Standing using four skulls found at Ampasambazimba. He noted that the animal had characteristics of both Palaeopropithecus and the living sifakas (Propithecus).[5] In 1936, Charles Lamberton defined Neopropithecus globiceps(based on one skull from Tsirave) and N. platyfrons (based on two skulls from Anavoha). He thought that Neopropithecus was a separate, intermediate genus between Mesopropithecus and Propithecus. In 1971, paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall merged N. platyfrons into N. globicepsand Neopropithecus into Mesopropithecus.[3]

Until 1986, Mesopropithecus was only known from cranial (skull) remains from central and southern Madagascar, and because these are similar to teeth and skulls of living indriids, particularly those of Verreaux’s sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi), Mesopropithecus was often assigned to the family Indriidae.[2][6][7] For example, in 1974, Tattersall and Schwartz labeled Mesopropithecus as a sister group to sifakas.[1][3] With the discovery of an associated skeleton of M. dolichobrachion near Ankarana in 1986, it became clear that Mesopropithecus shared distinct traits with sloth lemurs.[1][6][8][9] Unlike the indriids, but like the sloth lemurs, they had elongated forelimbs and other adaptations for arboreal suspension (hanging in trees), linking them most closely to family Paleaeopropithecidae.[2] A comparison of these morphological traits between the sloth lemurs and indriids suggest that Mesopropithecus was the first genus to diverge within the sloth lemur family.[1]

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