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This graphite pencil drawing shows Carpolestes simpsoni
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This graphite pencil drawing shows Carpolestes simpsoni

June 2, 2010
This graphite pencil drawing shows Carpolestes simpsoni, an early primate from the Paleocene era. The animal was reconstructed using a skeleton recovered from a 56 million-year-old limestone nodule found in the state of Wyoming. It accurately represents in every visible respect, the animal's known proportions and morphology--from the teeth to the skull to the skeleton. Locomotion on small diameter supports (depicted here) is concluded from the specialized grasping hands and feet; strong, mobile elbow; robust fibula; mobile ankle joints, mobile vertebral column; and gracefully slender pelvis and specialized teeth of the animal. [See Related Image.]

[Note: This illustration was created for an article that appeared in the November 22, 2002, issue of Science Magazine about the outcome of a grant investigating plesiadapiform functional morphology and relationships to primates of modern aspect. The principal investigators of National Science Foundation-supported grant BCS 01-29601 are Phil Gingerich and Greg Gunnell of the University of Michigan.] (Year of image: 2002)


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