Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Mesopallium

Portion of the cerebral cortex identified with the cortex of the cingulate gyrus. It is intermediate in form between the archepallium and the neopallium and has four or five distinct layers; now often called the juxtallocortex. One of G. Elliot Smith’s tripartite divisions of the pallium. Mesopithecus Wagner, 1839: genus of colobine monkeys known from the late Miocene through the Pliocene of Europe and western Asia; two species; most primitive of the colobines. Estimated body mass ranges from 5 to 8 kg; sexually dimorphic. Dental formula: 2.1.2.3/2.1.2.3; dentition similar to that of living colobines, indicating a folivorous diet. The robust postcrania of the older species, M. pentelici, differ from the modern species, suggesting it was at least semiterrestrial; the younger species, M. monspessulanus, possessed more derived limbs and was probably fully arboreal. It was also sympatric in part of its range with Dolichopithecus and some workers think that the latter species foraged on the ground, avoiding competition with the more arboreal Mesopithecus.

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