Asian Colobines The fossil record of Asian colobines is relatively poor, considering the diversity and abundance of leaf-eating monkeys on that continent today (Jablonski, 1993). Parapresbytis eohanuman is a large (30 kg) colobine from Pliocene deposits in northeast Asia near Lake Baikal. It is known from cranial, dental, and postcranial specimens. The relationship of Parapresbytis to other colobines is debated. Delson (1994) has suggested that it is not distinct from Dolichopithecus, and Jablonski (2002) suggests that Parapresbytis shows no particular similarity to any single taxon. Rather, it shows a mosaic of features currently found in many distinct Asian colobines. The limb elements indicate that it was not terrestrial like Dolichopithecus, but despite its large size, was a predominantly arboreal monkey (Egi et al., 2007). The earliest Asian colobines are ?Presbytis sivalensis from Late Miocene deposits about 6 million years old in the Siwaliks of northern India and Pakistan, and Semnopithecus palaeoindicus from the Pliocene and Pleistocene of the Siwaliks (Barry, 1987; Jablonski, 2002). The allocation of these early Asian colobines to the genera Presbytis or Semnopithecus is only a general identification, and they might be more appropriately assigned to distinct genera if they were better known. Fossils attributable to extant taxa of Asian colobines are known from a variety of Pliocene, Pleistocene and Recent deposits in China, Burma, Vietnam, Java, Sumatra, and Borneo. Pygathrix and several species of Rhinopithecus are known from Pleistocene localities in China (Jablonski, 2002), and several species of Trachypithecus and Presbytis have been described from the fossil records of Borneo, Sumatra and Java. Understanding the radiation of Asian colobines in light of the geomorphological and climatic changes of that region during the past 6 million years is a major challenge for paleoanthropology.
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