Diets of the Oligocene anthropoids Aegyptopithecus zeuxis and Apidium phiomense are inferred from measurements of the anterior and posterior dentition of these species. Ideas are presented which can be checked as the hypodigms expand. Comparisons with extant anthropoids demonstrate a probably frugivorous diet for A. zeuxis, while the diet of A. phiomense was not characterized by a high degree of frugivory requiring extensive incisal preparation of food. Additional inferences about the diet of A. phiomense might be gleaned from future examination of incisor morphology, implantation and occlusion. Even when allowance is made for the presence of P2 in A. phiomense, the dietary position of this species with respect to extant anthropoids is equivocal, and it is possible that the normal anthropoid relationship between anterior and posterior dentitions, with a small incisor span correlating with a great amount of mastication, had yet to be developed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology