Where does Rooneyia nest on the primate cladogram?

Rooneyia viejaensis (Kirk et al. 2014; Late Eocene, 40 mya; Fig. 2) is a basal primate known from a nearly complete skull. Everyone agrees on that. Where Rooneyia nests within the Primates is the point of contention.

FIgure 1. Subset of the LRT focusing on the primate/bat clade. Rooneyia nests between lemurs and higher primates.

FIgure 1. Subset of the LRT focusing on the primate/bat clade. Rooneyia nests between lemurs and higher primates.

Kirk et al. 2014 report: 
“Rooneyia viejaensis is a North American Eocene primate of uncertain phylogenetic affinities. Although the external cranial anatomy of Rooneyia is well studied, various authors have suggested that Rooneyia is a stem haplorhine, stem strepsirrhine, stem tarsiiform, or stem anthropoid.”

The large reptile tree (LRT, 1051 taxa) nests Rooneyia between lemur-like Notharctus and all higher primates, including tarsiers like Tarsius and Darwinius. Granted there are not very many primates on the LRT. Nevertheless, those are the current results. So the LRT indicates or suggests that Rooneyia is a stem hapolorhine, stem strerpsirrhine, stem trasiiform AND stem anthropoid. I’ll have to add more taxa in these clades to make a more precise recovery.

Figure 1. Rooneyia images from Digimorph.org and used with permission. White background and overlying DGS colors added here. The basal tree shrew/primate, Ptilocercus, is shown to scale.

Figure 2. Rooneyia images from Digimorph.org and used with permission. White background and overlying DGS colors added here. The basal tree shrew/primate, Ptilocercus, is shown to scale. The postorbital bar and canine depth on Rooneyia are imagined. Does not color help one understand the bones so much better and more quickly?

References
Kirk EC, Daghighi P, Macrini TE, Bhullar B-AS and Rowe TB 2014. Cranial anatomy of the Duchesnean primate Rooneyia viejaensis: new insights from high resolution computed tomography. Journal of Human Evolution, 74, 82-95). online here.

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