Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Flying Primate Hypothesis

Idea proposed by Pettigrew in the 1980s that primates, dermopterans (colugos) and the Megachiroptera (flying foxes) shared a common ancestor in the Paleocene; in this scenario, the Microchiroptera (insectivorous bats) are considered convergences with the larger bats. This relationship was deduced by the nervous pathway from the retina to the optic tectum of the mid-brain. Molecular evidence in the 1990s disputed this hypothesis and demonstrated that the Megachiroptera are more closely related to the Microchiroptera than to any other taxonomic group.

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