Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Smilodectes Wortman, 1903

Adapoid prosimian from the early and middle Eocene of North America belonging to the notharctid subfamily Notharctinae; three species. Appears to be descended from the earlier Cantius, although it is also suggested that Copelemur is the ancestor of this genus. Diurnal. Dental formula:; dental morphology suggests folivory. Unlike that of living prosimians, the mandible is fused. Body mass estimated to range from 2 to 3 kg. Well-preserved endocasts reveal an increased reliance on vision and a decreased dependence on smell. Locomotion appears to be leaping and quadrupedalism when the animal was on the ground.

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