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Primates (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article

This article (Primates (Talk.Origins)) is a rebuttal regarding a supposed transitional form published by the Talk.Origins Archive under the title Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ.

Response to Primates

CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

GAP: "The modern assemblage can be traced with little question to the base of the Eocene" says Carroll (1988). But before that, the origins of the very earliest primates are fuzzy. There is a group of Paleocene primitive primate-like animals called "plesiadapids" that may be ancestral to primates, or may be "cousins" to primates.

This starts off with a gap. What this means is that they do not have any evidence connecting primates to any other group.

  • Palaechthon, Purgatorius (middle Paleocene) -- Very primitive plesiadapids. To modern eyes they looks nothing like primates, being simply pointy-faced, small early mammals with mostly primitive teeth, and claws instead of nails. But they show the first signs of primate-like teeth; lost an incisor and a premolar, and had relatively blunt-cusped, squarish molars.


  • Palaechthon is based on only an incomplete skull. Despite this, the evidence such as fully-enclosed orbits, forward-facing eyes and generalized dentition indcates that Palaechthon was a primate.


Palaechthon, and Purgatorius are based only on fragmented remains. Palaechthon is definetly a primate and Purgatorius would seem to be one as well. It is clear that the reconstructions soffer some what from evolutionary assumptions particularly in the case of Purgatorius with nothing but beyoned the jaw having been found so this list starts with primates.

  • Cantius (early Eocene) -- One of the first true primates (or "primates of modern aspect"), more advanced than the plesiadapids (more teeth lost, bar behind the eye, grasping hand & foot) and beginning to show some lemur-like arboreal adaptations.

There seems to be nothing on Cantius outside Talk Origins and its clones. There is insufficient data on it for an analysis.

  • Pelycodus & related species (early Eocene) -- Primitive lemur-like primates.

Pelycodus is clearly a type of monkey. So what? Probably a variety of lemur. Also, it is dated as the same age as its alleged ancestor Cantius.

  • Amphipithecus, Pondaungia (late Eocene, Burma) -- Very early Old World primates known only from fragments. Larger brain, shorter nose, more forward-facing eyes (halfway between plesiadapid eyes and modern ape eyes).


  • All they have of Amphipithecus, two jaw fragments.

Our knowledge of Amphipithecus comes from fragments of two separate jaws. One portion was found in 1923, another (shown overlapping) in 1977.


Amphipithecus, and Pondaungia are based on so little evidence that it speaks for it self.

Goto: Primates II

See Also