Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Family of archaic fossil mammals belonging to the order Plesiadapiformes. Known from the middle Paleocene to the late Eocene; predominantly a North American taxon, but very widely distributed with some members even above the Arctic Circle and several genera known from Europe; eight genera of forms ranging from 50 g to 600 g. Number of teeth variable across genera; procumbent incisors, tall sharp premolars; this combination of teeth has led to disagreement on diet, some workers think that this family was insectivorous, some workers think it was gummivorous, and yet others see it as consuming plant matter in general.

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