Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Apidium Osborn, 1908

Well-known genus of fossil anthropoid that belongs to the infraorder Parapithecoidea, family Parapithecidae, from the Oligocene of the Fayum Depression, Egypt. Contains two species. Anthropoid traits include fused mandibular and frontal bones and relatively small enclosed orbits. This last trait suggests diurnal activity. Dental formula:; small incisors and low, rounded cusps on molars suggest frugivory, but the thick enamel on the molars point to seeds as part of diet. Apidium had sexually dimorphic projecting canines of intermediate size, suggesting polygynous social groups (based on similar data from living mammals). Distally, the tibia and fibula of the lower leg were joined by a fibrous connection for about 40% of the length; this condition is unusual among extant higher primates and suggests a leaping adaptation, although more in the way that New World monkeys leap. Apidium has a relatively long hindlimb compared to the forelimb.

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