Name: Smilodectes.
Phonetic: Smy-loe-dek-teez.
Named By: Wortman‭ ‬-‭ ‬1903.
Synonyms: Aphanolemur.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Primates,‭ ‬Nothactidae,‭ ‬Nothactinae.
Species: S.‭ ‬gracilis,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬mcgrewi,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬gingerichi.
Diet: Folivore‭ (‬herbivore that specialises in eating leaves‭)‬.
Size: Around‭ ‬2‭ ‬kilograms,‭ ‬though could be slightly larger.
Known locations: USA‭ ‬-‭ ‬Colorado,‭ ‬Utah‭ & ‬Wyoming.
Time period: Ypresian to Lutetian of the Eocene.
Fossil representation: Multiple specimens.

       Smilodectes is another example of an early Eocene era primate,‭ ‬and one of the better known from North America.‭ ‬As a notharctine primate,‭ ‬Smilodectes was similar to the type genus of the group,‭ ‬Notharctus.‭ ‬Like its relatives,‭ ‬Smilodectes was a small and lightly built primate that spent most of its time up in the tree canopy,‭ ‬where it’s presumed to have been a leaf eater.‭ ‬This is also a reflection of Eocene ecosystems which had a much wider expanse of forests than what are seen today,‭ ‬especially within the United States.

Further reading
- Notice of some new fossil mammals from the Tertiary Formation. - American Journal of Science 2(7):35-44. - O. C. Marsh - 1871.
- Studies of Eocene Mammalia in the Marsh Collection, Peabody Museum. Part II. Primates. Suborder Cheiromyoidea. - The American Journal of Science, series 4 16:345-368. - J. L. Wortman - 1903.
- Phylogeny of middle Eocene Adapidae (Mammalia, Primates) in North America: Smilodectes and Notharctus. - Journal of Paleontology 53(1):153-163. - P. D. Gingerich - 1979.
- Notharctine primates (Adapiformes) from the early to middle Eocene (Wasatchian-Bridgerian) of Wyoming: transitional species and the origins of Notharctus and Smilodectes. - Journal of Human Evolution 43(3):353-380. - G. F. Gunnell - 2002.


Random favourites