An extinct monkey from Haiti and the origins of the Greater Antillean primates

Siobhán B. Cooke, Alfred L. Rosenberger, Samuel Turvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A new extinct Late Quaternary platyrrhine from Haiti, Insulacebus toussaintiana, is described here from the most complete Caribbean subfossil primate dentition yet recorded, demonstrating the likely coexistence of two primate species on Hispaniola. Like other Caribbean platyrrhines, I. toussaintiana exhibits primitive features resembling early Middle Miocene Patagonian fossils, reflecting an early derivation before the Amazonian community of modern New World anthropoids was configured. This, in combination with the young-age of the fossils, provides a unique opportunity to examine a different parallel radiation of platyrrhines that survived intomodern times, but is only distantly related to extant mainland forms. Their ecological novelty is indicated by their unique dental proportions, and by their relatively large estimated body weights, possibly an island effect, which places thegroupina size class not exploited by mainland South American monkeys. Several features tie the new species to the extinct Jamaican monkey Xenothrix mcgregori, perhaps providing additional evidence for an inter-Antillean clade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2699-2704
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 15 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Fossil primate
  • Island biogeography
  • Paleoprimatology
  • Platyrrhini

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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