Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
Hypoplasia: CT-scan or naked eye?
Eocene otoliths (Clinchfield Formation), Georgia
New elephant cranium from early Pliocene Ileret, Kenya
Early adaptive radiation of Theridomorpha
Evolution et extinction des reptiles marins au Mésozoïque
Palaeovertebrata 43-2:December 2020
The digital endocast of Necrolemur antiquusbrain evolution; Eocene; Omomyiforms; Primates
The study of endocasts, or casts of the endocranial space, have played an important role in shaping understanding of mammalian, and particularly primate, brain evolution. Recently, the reconstructions of three-dimensional virtual endocasts from high-resolution computed tomography images have allowed for the visualization and quantification of endocasts in several Paleocene and Eocene primate species. Here we present the virtual endocast of MaPhQ 289 (informally known as the Montauban 9 skull), a specimen of Necrolemur antiquus Filhol 1873, a middle to late Eocene European primate of the family Microchoeridae. The virtual endocast of MaPhQ 289 reveals a lissencephalic surface morphology with expanded temporal poles and minimal overlap of the cerebellum or olfactory bulb by the cerebrum, which closely resembles the morphology of the endocast of its contemporary relative, Microchoerus erinaceus (Primates, Microchoeridae). MaPhQ 289 yields an endocranial volume (ECV) of 2.36 cm3, about 60% smaller than the volume of the most commonly cited ECV of N. antiquus. Thus, the size of the brain of N. antiquus relative to its body size is likely to be smaller than has been reported in previous literature, highlighting the importance of corroborating older ECV estimates with new evidence using 3-D imaging techniques.