.13" Eocene Primate (Necrolemur) Tooth Crown Fossil - France

This is a rare, .13" wide tooth crown with a partial root, from a tarsier-like, Eocene, omomyid primate (Necrolemur antiquus). It was collected from the Quercy Phosphorites Formation of Lot (formerly Quercy), France. Comes with an acrylic display case.

Necrolemur ("dead lemur") is a genus of extinct primate that is considered the best preserved fossil member of the tarsier group. The skeletal remains of these small omomyid primates indicate that they had large eyes and ears, meaning they could hunt at night. They also had small sharp teeth which were likely used to chew through the exoskeletons of insects - which were its main food. Similar to modern day tarsiers, Necrolemur also had gripping pads on its long fingers and toes, a long tail that acted as a counterbalance, and long arms and legs which helped it navigate its way from branch to branch. Necrolemur fossils are primarily collected from the Middle to Late Eocene deposits of Western Europe.

An artists depiction of Necrolemur.  By Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com).  Creative Commons License
An artists depiction of Necrolemur. By Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com). Creative Commons License

The Quercy Phosphorites Formation in France is world famous for its Eocene to Miocene faunas, especially those from the upper Eocene to lower Oligocene. The latter particularly helped to understand the ‘Grande Coupure’, a dramatic faunal turnover event that occurred in Europe during the Eocene-Oligocene transition. Fossils from the Quercy Phosphorites were excavated from the middle 19th century until the early 20th century in a series of sites which are no longer accessible. These fossils subsequently became dispersed over several research institutions, while unfortunately often losing the temporal and geographical information in the process. This material is part of an old collection we acquired and presumably was collected along with this material in the 19th or early 20th century. A recently published paper on the mammals of the Quercy Phosphorites can be found below.

The upper Eocene-Oligocene carnivorous mammals from the Quercy Phosphorites (France) housed in Belgian collections
Necrolemur antiquus
Lot (Formerly Quercy), France
Quercy Phosphorites Formation
.13" wide
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