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Center for Functional Anatomy

and Evolution

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Dr. Jonathan M. G. Perry

E-Mail: jperry31(at)
Phone: 410-955-7034

1830 E. Monument St., Room 303
Baltimore, MD 21205 USA

Jonathan at quarry L-41 in the Fayum Depression, Eygpt

Jonathan and Dr. Sergio Vizcaino outside the cabin we inhabit in the field, Estancia La Costa, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina (taken in 2006 by Michael Malinzak).

Jonathan and Dr. Adam Hartstone-Rose feeding cubes of melon to a red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) to record bite size. This study was conducted at the Duke Lemur Center, Durham, North Carolina (taken in 2007 by David Haring).


Ph.D. Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University, 2008
M.Sc. Systematics and Evolution, University of Alberta, 2001
B.Sc. Paleontology, University of Alberta, 1998

Research Focuses

Anatomy and biomechanics of the masticatory system
Evolution of feeding adaptations in primates
Material and structural properties of primate foods
Craniomandibular morphology of Eocene primates
Miocene platyrrhine dietary adaptatons

I am interested in the link between skull form and diet. How do food properties influence skull morphology over evolutionary time and are there skull features we can use to reconstruct diet in extinct mammals. In particular, I am excited about the context for the evolution of primates and I am curious about whether changes in diet prompted changes to the skull that characterize the first primates. To address these interests, I have looked at links between the dimensions of the chewing muscles, bony skull features, and food properties in extant primates. I use these links to reconstruct aspects of feeding and diet in early primates (e.g., adapids). I am interested in applying these techniques more broadly and generating dietary hypotheses for other fossil groups (e.g., the archaic primates, plesiadapiforms). This has been the main focus of my research. In addition, I participate in several field projects to recover fossil mammals from localities across the world. I and my colleagues perform non-invasive, observational feeding experiments on captive primates to quantify feeding behavior. Finally, I collaborate on projects to quantify feeding energetics and to model tooth form in primates. All of this work is driven by a desire to understand the ways in which our earliest primate ancestors related to their environment.

Special Links

Curriculum Vitae

Recent/Noteworthy Publications

Seiffert, E.R., Boyer, D.M., Fleagle, J.G., Gunnell, G.F., Heesy, C.P., Perry, J.M., and Sallam, H.M. (2017) New adapiform primate fossils from the late Eocene of Egypt. Historical Biology 1-23. DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2017.1306522

Perry, J.M.G., St Clair, E.M., and Hartstone-Rose, A. (2015) Craniomandibular signals of diet in adapids. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22811

Perry, J.M.G., Bastian, M.L., St Clair, E.M., and Hartstone-Rose, A. (2015) Maximum ingested food size in captive anthropoids. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22779.

Hartstone-Rose, A., Criste, T., Parkinson, J., and Perry, J.M.G. (2015) Brief Communication: Comparing apples and oranges – the influence of food mechanical properties on ingestive bite sizes in lemurs. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22726

Perry, J.M.G., Kay, R.F., Vizcaíno, S.F., and Bargo, M.S. (2014) Oldest known cranium of a juvenile New World monkey (Early Miocene, Patagonia, Argentina): implications for the taxonomy and the molar eruption pattern of early platyrrhines. Journal of Human Evolution. 74:67-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2014.03.009

Perry, J.M.G., MacNeill, K.E., Heckler, A.L., Rakotoarisoa, G., and Hartstone-Rose, A. (2014) Anatomy and adaptations of the chewing muscles in Daubentonia (Lemuriformes). The Anatomical Record 97: 308-316. DOI: 10.1002/ar.22844

Baab, K.L., Perry, J.M.G., Rohlf, F.J., and Jungers, W.L. (2014) Phylogenetic, ecological, and allometric correlates of cranial shape in Malagasy lemuriforms. Evolution 68:1450-1468. DOI: 10.1111/evo.12361

Jones, K.E., Rose, K.D., and Perry, J.M.G. (2014) Body size and premolar evolution in the Early-Middle Eocene euprimates of Wyoming. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 153:15-28. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22387

Kay, R.F., Perry, J.M.G., Malinzak, M., Allen, K.L., Kirk, E.C., Plavcan, J.M., and Fleagle, J.G. (2012) Paleobiology of Santacrucian primates. In Early Miocene Paleobiology in Patagonia: High-Latitude Paleocommunities of the Santa Cruz Formation, SF Vizcaíno, RF Kay, and MS Bargo (eds). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 306-330.

Hartstone-Rose, A., Perry, J.M.G., and Morrow, C.J. (2012) Bite force estimation and the fiber architecture of felid masticatory muscles. The Anatomical Record 295:1336-1351. DOI: 10.1002/ar.22518

Perry, J.M.G., Hartstone-Rose, A., and Logan, R.L. (2011) The jaw adductor resultant and estimated bite force in primates. Anatomy Research International 2011: Article ID 929848, 11 pages. DOI: 10.1155/2011/929848

Muchlinski, M.N., and Perry, J.M.G. (2011) Anatomical correlates to nectar-feeding among the strepsirrhines of Madagascar: implications for interpreting the fossil record. Anatomy Research International 2011. Article ID 378431, 17 pages. DOI: 10.1155/2011/378431

Hartstone-Rose, A. and Perry, J.M.G. (2011) Intraspecific variation in maximum ingested food size and body mass in Varecia rubra and Propithecus coquereli. Anatomy Research International 2011: Article ID 831943, 8 pages. DOI: 10.1155/2011/831943

Perry, J.M.G., Hartstone-Rose, A., and Wall, C.E. (2011) The jaw adductors of strepsirrhines in relation to body size, diet, and ingested food size. The Anatomical Record 294(4):712-728. DOI: 10.1002/ar.21354

Perry, J.M.G. (2011) Book Review: The Smallest Anthropoids: The Marmoset/Callimico Radiation. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 144(3):501-502.

Perry, J.M.G., Kay, R.F., Vizcaíno, S.F., and Bargo, M.S. (2010) Tooth root size, chewing muscle leverage, and the biology of Homunculus patagonicus (Primates) from the late early Miocene of Patagonia. Ameghiniana 47:355-371. DOI: 10.5710/AMGH.v47i3.9

Vizcaíno, S.F., Bargo, M.S., Kay, R.F., Fariña, R.A., DiGiacomo, M., Perry, J.M.G., Prevosti, F.J., Toledo, N., Cassini, G.H., and Fernicola, J.C. (2010) A baseline paleoecological study for the Santa Cruz Formation (late–early Miocene) at the Atlantic coast of Patagonia, Argentina. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 292(3-4):507-519. DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.04.022

Perry, J.M.G. and Hartstone-Rose, A. (2010) Maximum ingested food size in captive strepsirrhine primates: scaling and the effects of diet. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 142:625-635. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.21285

Seiffert, E.R., Simons, E.L., Boyer, D.M., Perry, J.M.G., Ryan, T.M., and Sallam, H.M. (2010) A fossil primate of uncertain affinities from the earliest late Eocene of Egypt. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107:9712-9717. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1001393107

Seiffert, E.R., Perry, J.M.G., Simons, E.L., and Boyer, D.M. (2009) Convergent evolution of anthropoid-like adaptations in Eocene adapiform primates. Nature 461:1118-1121. DOI: 10.1038/nature08429

Perry, J.M.G. and Wall, C.E. (2008) Scaling of the chewing muscles in prosimians. In Primate Craniofacial Function and Biology, CJ Vinyard, MJ Ravosa, and CE Wall (eds). New York: Springer. Pp. 217-240.

Kay, R.F., Vizcaíno, S.F., Bargo, M.S., Perry, J.M.G., Prevosti, F., and Fernicola, J.C. (2008) Two new fossil vertebrate localities in the Santa Cruz Formation (late early Miocene, Argentina), 51° South latitude. Journal of South American Earth Sciences 25: 187-195. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsames.2007.07.003

Kay, R.F., Schmitt, D., Vinyard, C.J., Perry, J.M.G., Shigehara, N., Takai, M., and Naoko, E. (2004) The paleobiology of Amphipithecidae, South Asian late Eocene primates. Journal of Human Evolution 46: 3-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2003.09.009

Current students

Stephanie L. Canington, Heather L. Kristjanson, Kristen Prufrock