Re: Proconsul major

Alex Duncan (
1 Aug 1995 03:31:14 GMT

In article <3ve751$> HARRY R. ERWIN, writes:
>The similarity of Pilbeam's reconstruction of P. major in Szalay and
>Delson to Sivapithecus and Pongo is remarkable.

Isn't that the one based on the Moroto palate (UMP 62-11, I think)? If
so, this may be one of the critters for which a new taxon will be
erected. My understanding is that no one was ever comfortable with the
fit in P. major. Later there were suggestions that this might be another
Afropithecus. In their initial description of Afropithecus, Leakey et
al. were careful to list features that distinguished it from the Moroto
palate, but they seemed like minor features to me, that might be
accomodated by intraspecific variation. Since then other folks have also
distinguished between Moroto and Afropithecus and between Moroto and P.
major. I'll have to check my refs. on this, as its been a while since
I've done any of the reading.
If you're talking about the reconstruction I think you are -- I
was struck by the tremendously "squared" appearance of the upper face.
If I remember correctly, a pretty sizable supraorbital torus was included
as well. But in other features, especially subnasal prognathism, the
critter is very similar to pongines. The incisive foramen is a huge
hole, however, similar to what's seen in gibbons or cercopithecoidea
(probably Proconsul & Aegyptopithecus as well).

Alex Duncan
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712-1086