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Temporal range: EoceneOligocene
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Eosimiidae
Beard et al., 1994

Eosimiidae is the family of possibly extinct primates believed to be the earliest simians.


When they were discovered the possibility that Eosimians were outside and ancestral to Simians was considered (Culotta 1992), but subsequent work showed them to be Simians (Kay et al 1997, Ross et al 1998).[2] Some scholars continue to question whether the eosimiids are simians, as they seem closer to Tarsiiformes - Gunnell and Miller (2001), for instance, found that eosimiid morphology didn't match up to anthropoid (simian) morphology.[3] However, most experts now place Eosimians as stem simians - Williams, Kay and Kirk (2010) note this is because more and more evidence points in that direction.[4]

Williams, Kay and Kirk note that (as at late 2009), accounting for all proposed species, there would be 11 species in total in 6 genera (Amphipithecidae,Anthrasimias, Bahinia, Eosimias, Phenacopithecus, Phileosimias).[4] There appears to be a wealthy diversity of eosimiids in China.

With several genera, such as Phileosimias, and Anthrasimias, their classification as eosimiids appears to be unclear. Marivaux et al. (2005) suggest three definite groups of Eosimiidae: Bahinia, Phenacopithecus and Eosimias. They announced their discovery of fossils of two new species, Phileosimias kamali and Phileosimias brahuiorum. They concluded that Phileosimias are also early simians, and that the more modern simians may have emerged as their sister.[5] Williams, Kay and Kirk (2010) note that both Gunnell et al (2008) and Kay et al (2009) argue that Anthrasimias should be classified as Adapiforms, and that Rosenberger and Hogg express doubts about Bahinia pondaungensis. They also note that whilst most analyses link Amphipithecidae to Anthropoids (i.e. simians), there is a lack of certainty as they show resemblances to adapiforms and omomyiforms as well as to catarrhine simians.[4]


Below is a phylogenic tree with some of the extinct simian species with the more modern species emerging within the Eosimiidae. Anthrasimias is not shown. The Simians originated in Asia while the crown simians were in Afro-Arabia.[6][7][8][9][10] It is indicated approximately how many million years ago (Mya) the clades diverged into newer clades. In this tree, Eosimiidae as conventionally defined, shown as italic, is a paraphyletic, 'grade' or stem group in this assessment. Paraphyletic groupings are problematic, as one can not talk precisely about their phylogenic relationships, their characteristic traits and literal extinction.[11][12] Cladistically the 'higher' monkeys are included. The Ekgmowechashaladea are usually placed in Tarsiiformes, in which case Eosimiidae may become equivalent to the Simians. Alternatively, with Phileosimias and Amphipithecidae placed outside of a Eosimiidae senso stricto taxon would restore monophyly.

Haplorhini (64)

Tarsiiformes Säugethiere vom Celebes- und Philippinen-Archipel (Taf. III) (white background) (1).jpg

Simians (54)
Ekgmowechashalidae (39)

Muangthanhinius (†32 Mya)


Gatanthropus micros (†30)

Bugtilemur (†29)


 Eosimiidae (52)
Eosimiidae s.s.(50)

Eosimias (†40)

Phenacopithecus (†42)


Bahinia (†32)

Nosmips aenigmaticus (†37)

Phileosimias (†46)


Amphipithecidae (†35)


Parapithecoidea (†30)


Proteopithecus sylviae (†34)

Crown Simians (40)

See also


  1. ^ Haaramo, Mikko (2002-12-29). "Mikko's Phylogeny Archive". Retrieved 2007-07-05.
  2. ^ Ross, Callum; Kay, Richard F, eds. (2004). Anthropoid Origins: New Visions. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 712. ISBN 978-1461347002.
  3. ^ Primate Adaptation and Evolution: 3rd Edition, Ch. 13, p 279-281
  4. ^ a b c Williams, Blythe A; Kay, Richard F; Kirk, E Christopher (January 2010). Walker, Alan, ed. "New perspectives on anthropoid origins". PNAS. 107 (11): 4797–4804. doi:10.1073/pnas.0908320107. PMC 2841917. PMID 20212104.
  5. ^ Marivaux; et al. (June 2005). "Anthropoid primates from the Oligocene of Pakistan (Bugti Hills): Data on early anthropoid evolution and biogeography". PNAS. 102 (24): 8436–41. doi:10.1073/pnas.0503469102. PMC 1150860. PMID 15937103. (Full text PDF)
  6. ^ Marivaux, Laurent; Antoine, Pierre-Olivier; Baqri, Syed Rafiqul Hassan; Benammi, Mouloud; Chaimanee, Yaowalak; Crochet, Jean-Yves; Franceschi, Dario de; Iqbal, Nayyer; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques (2005-06-14). "Anthropoid primates from the Oligocene of Pakistan (Bugti Hills): Data on early anthropoid evolution and biogeography". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 102 (24): 8436–8441. doi:10.1073/pnas.0503469102. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 1150860. PMID 15937103.
  7. ^ Seiffert, Erik R.; Boyer, Doug M.; Fleagle, John G.; Gunnell, Gregg F.; Heesy, Christopher P.; Perry, Jonathan M. G.; Sallam, Hesham M. (2017-04-10). "New adapiform primate fossils from the late Eocene of Egypt". Historical Biology. 0 (1–2): 204–226. doi:10.1080/08912963.2017.1306522. ISSN 0891-2963.
  8. ^ Primate Adaptation and Evolution: 3rd Edition, Ch. 13, p 279-281
  9. ^ Ryan, Timothy M.; Silcox, Mary T.; Walker, Alan; Mao, Xianyun; Begun, David R.; Benefit, Brenda R.; Gingerich, Philip D.; Köhler, Meike; Kordos, László (2012-09-07). "Evolution of locomotion in Anthropoidea: the semicircular canal evidence". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences. 279 (1742): 3467–3475. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.0939. ISSN 0962-8452. PMC 3396915. PMID 22696520.
  10. ^ Hartwig, W. (2011). "Chapter 3: Primate evolution". In Campbell, C. J.; Fuentes, A.; MacKinnon, K. C.; Bearder, S. K.; Stumpf, R. M. Primates in Perspective (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 19–31. ISBN 978-0-19-539043-8.
  11. ^ Schilhab, Theresa; Stjernfelt, Frederik; Deacon, Terrence (2012-03-26). The Symbolic Species Evolved. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9789400723351.
  12. ^ Villmoare, Brian (2018-01-30). "Early Homo and the role of the genus in paleoanthropology". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 165: 72–89. doi:10.1002/ajpa.23387. ISSN 0002-9483. PMID 29380889.

External links