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Karanisia is an extinct genus of strepsirrhine primate from middle Eocene deposits in Egypt.

Temporal range: Late Middle Eocene Priabonian
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Strepsirrhini
Infraorder: incertae sedis
Genus: Karanisia
Seiffert et al, 2003
Type species
Karanisia clarki
Seiffert et al., 2003
  • Karanisia arenula Jaeger et al., 2010
  • Karanisia clarki Seiffert et al., 2003


Two species are known, K. clarki[1][2] and K. arenula.[3] Originally considered a crown lorisid, more comprehensive phylogenetic analyses suggest it is a more basal to crown lorisiformes.[4][5]

K. clarki was described in 2003 from isolated teeth and jaw fragments found in Late Middle Eocene (c. 40 million years ago) sediments of the Birket Qarun Formation in the Egyptian Faiyum.[6][7] The specimens indicate the presence of a toothcomb, making it the earliest fossil primate to indisputably bear this trait, which is unique to all living strepsirrhines (lemurs, lorises, and galagos).[7]

In 2010 a second species, K. arenula, was described in the journal Nature from Late Middle Eocene rocks in Libya.[3]


  1. ^ "Karanisia". The Paleobiology Database. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
  2. ^ "Karanisia clarki". Archived from the original on 2012-06-09. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
  3. ^ a b Jaeger, J. J.; Beard, K. C.; Chaimanee, Y.; Salem, M.; Benammi, M.; Hlal, O.; Coster, P.; Bilal, A. A.; Duringer, P.; Schuster, M.; Valentin, X.; Marandat, B.; Marivaux, L.; Métais, E.; Hammuda, O.; Brunet, M. (2010). "Late middle Eocene epoch of Libya yields earliest known radiation of African anthropoids" (PDF). Nature. 467 (7319): 1095–1098. Bibcode:2010Natur.467.1095J. doi:10.1038/nature09425. PMID 20981098. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-03-08.
  4. ^ Seiffert, E. R. (2012). "Early primate evolution in Afro-Arabia". Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews. 21 (6): 239–253. doi:10.1002/evan.21335. PMID 23280921.
  5. ^ Gregg F. Gunnell; Doug M. Boyer; Anthony R. Friscia; Steven Heritage; Fredrick Kyalo Manthi; Ellen R. Miller; Hesham M. Sallam; Nancy B. Simmons; Nancy J. Stevens; Erik R. Seiffert (2018). "Fossil lemurs from Egypt and Kenya suggest an African origin for Madagascar's aye-aye". Nature Communications. 9: Article number 3193. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05648-w.
  6. ^ Seiffert, E.R.; Simons, E.L.; Attia, Y. (2003). "Fossil evidence for an ancient divergence of lorises and galagos". Nature. 422 (6930): 421–424. Bibcode:2003Natur.422..421S. doi:10.1038/nature01489. PMID 12660781.
  7. ^ a b Gould, Lisa; Sauther, Michelle L., eds. (2006). Lemurs: Ecology and Adaptation (Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects) (1 ed.). Springer. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-0-387-34585-7.