Forelimb anatomy of New World monkeys: myology and the interpretation of primitive anthropoid models

American Journal of Physical Anthropology
S S DunlapM A Aziz


The forelimbs of 12 genera of New World monkeys, two genera of Old World monkeys, and a gibbon were dissected. Of the 54 muscles examined, 19 exhibited significant intergeneric variation. We present arguments for which morphologies are primitive and which are derived within platyrrhines and within anthropoids. We conclude that the forelimbs of Cebus apella and Callicebus moloch represent good models of the ancestral anthropoid morphology. Thus among living anthropoids they are most appropriate for comparisons with early fossil anthropoids. They are also useful for determining whether myological anomalies of human aneuploids are atavistic. Wagner tree analyses were conducted to assess the value of these myological characters in phylogenetic studies of platyrrhines. In most respects the Wagner trees were consonant with phylogenies previously proposed, although some hypothesized trees are less parsimonious than others in explaining our data. There is an unexpected number of derived features shared by Aotus and the Atelines. There are marked dissimilarities in forelimb musculature between Aotus and Callicebus.


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