At the dawn of the Tertiary, primates, in the form of squirrel-like adapids, were already widespread in Laurasia. While other, more familiar primate lineages evolved in Africa, the adapid-derived pokemusoids dominated Asia and Europe.  Pokemusoids (parapokemuses, true pokemuses, and felimuses) are by far the most primitive of the primate groups---their cranial anatomy is almost rodent-like, but they possess the opposable fingers and toes of true primates.

    Parapokemusids are not closely related to the other pokemusoid families, and are usually regarded are the most basal members of the group. At first glance, a parapokemus seems very much like a true pokemus---that is, a small, long-tailed animal with a blunt snout and large eyes.  However, the squirrle-like parapokemusids are quite different from the pokemusids (indeed, all other primates) in their possession of rodent-like incisor teeth.

      Parapokemusids have lived in Eurasia since the Eocene (when they emerged from a complex of related forms) and in North America for almost as long.  Species vary little across the Northern Hemisphere, but a variety of aberrant parapokemusids may be found in Africa and South America, cut off from their progenitors by shifts of climate and geography.


(Pictures by Matti Aumala)
     The true pokemuses are strange omnivorous and carnivorous primates that evolved from small arboreal insectivorous forms (see Patriopokemus), but have produced fully terrestrial and even mountain dwelling forms such as the Japanese pikachillas. Most Eurasian pokemuses are 10-30 cm long omnivores, but some East Asian forms ('chillas', genus Macropokemus) have evolved larger species, including the cat-sized pikachilla (4 kg) and Raichilla (up to 6 kg). Though these thick-furred critters may look a little clumsy, they are fast climbers and have deft little hands with small but sharp claws.
(Text by Matti Aumala)


(Picture by Matti Aumala)
    The arboreal felimuses fill the niches of such Arel carnivores as cats and martens. These predators are closely related to pokemuses, the the split between the families dating back to the Oligocene. Felimuses quickly spread across Eurasia and then traveled to North America during the Miocene and to South America during the Plio-Pleistocene, where they are now well ensconced.
(Picture by Daniel Bensen)
  • Red felimus

        Kochillas evolved in Africa in the late Eocene, possibly from the adapid stock that gave rise to the lemurs of Madagascar and the pokemuses of Eurasia.  These early forms were arboreal, much like the felimusids (then separated from Africa by the Tethys) and quickly migrated to the then-island Europe.  In the Oligocene, Europe linked with Asia to form Eurasia, and the kochillas came into competition with the felimusids.  During the Miocene, the modern kochillas---the alpine forms---finally evolved as India smashed into Asia, throwing up the Himalayas.  These forms then re-colonized Asia Minor and Northern Africa.  The Pleistocene killed off all of the arboreal Kochillas in Eurasia (although some survive in Africa), but also allowed to alpine forms to greatly expand their range---they became large and almost doglike, and spread across the mountains and tundras of both Eurasia and North America (although they have not colonized South America).


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