eCite Digital Repository

The oldest anthropoid primates in SE Asia: Evidence from LA-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon age in the Late Middle Eocene Pondaung Formation, Myanmar


Zaw, K and Meffre, S and Takai, M and Suzuki, H and Burrett, C and Htike, T and Thein, ZMM and Tsubamoto, T and Egi, N and Maung, M, The oldest anthropoid primates in SE Asia: Evidence from LA-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon age in the Late Middle Eocene Pondaung Formation, Myanmar, Gondwana Research, 26, (1) pp. 122-131. ISSN 1342-937X (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/


The Late Middle Eocene Pondaung Formation, central Myanmar hosts the richest deposit of terrestrial mammals in SE Asia. The Pondaung Formation contains anthropoid primates, such as Eosimiidae, Amphipithecidae and the new Afrotarsiidae, plus adapiform primates and is a critical locality in discussions on anthropoid origins and biogeography. The sands of the Pondaung Formation were derived from the erosional unroofing of a dissected andesitic volcanic arc and deposited on the forested floodplains of a large tropical river. Previously, the age of the Pondaung Formation was estimated to be Middle to Late Eocene based on stratigraphic evidence, Late Middle Eocene (Bartonian) based on comparisons with mammals from North America and Europe, 37.2 1.3 Ma and 38.8 1.4 Ma based on fission track dating and 37.4-37.0 Ma based on questionable magnetostratigraphic correlations. Here, we report a new LA-ICP-MS, U-Pb age for zircons from a tuffaceous bed in the Pondaung Formation of 40.31 0.65 Ma and 40.22 0.86 Ma which is slightly older than the debatable magnetostratigraphic ages of 37-36 Ma and 38-39 Ma for the anthropoids from Egypt and Libya. Pending the acquisition of similarly reliable radiometric dates from all the North African and Asian sites, this new date provides support for an Asian origin for the anthropoids. Our new dates are close to the molecular clock date for the origin of the anthropoid primates and may provide a reliable calibration point for the molecular phylogenetic method.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:anthropoids, primate. Late Middle Eocene. LA-ICP-MS UPb zircon ages. Myanmar (Burma)
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Palaeontology (incl. palynology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Zaw, K (Professor Khin Zaw)
UTAS Author:Meffre, S (Professor Sebastien Meffre)
UTAS Author:Burrett, C (Dr Clive Burrett)
ID Code:91802
Year Published:2014 (online first 2013)
Web of Science® Times Cited:30
Deposited By:Centre for Ore Deposit Research - CODES CoE
Deposited On:2014-05-30
Last Modified:2017-11-06

Repository Staff Only: item control page