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Abstract

The fossil record of lorisiforms in Asia is currently restricted to specimens recovered from a half-dozen localities of Miocene age (13 Ma to 7 Ma) in the Siwalik Group of northern Pakistan and in related deposits of India. More than one lorisid taxon is represented in the Pakistan material, but Nycticeboides simpsoni Jacobs, 1981 is currently the only named species. A partial skeleton of Nycticeboides, although poorly preserved, possesses diagnostic lorisid synapomorphies of the auditory region and the vertebral column. The fact that Nycticeboides was a small animal is important for understanding its ecology. A primate frugivore with the M1 dimensions of Nycticeboides should have a body weight of only about 500 g according to commonly-used regression statistics. However, if Nycticeboides was mostly insectivorous, and its molar teeth scaled to body size in the manner characteristic of highly insectivorous primates and non-zalambdodont insectivores, then it may have weighed much less than this estimate.

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