Re: Miocene and Pliocene apes familiy tree?

Harry Erwin (
Sun, 23 Jul 1995 16:48:32 -0400

In article <3upr4a$>, VINCENT@REG.TRIUMF.CA (pete) wrote:

> Alex Duncan ( sez:
> `The best candidates for common ancestry of African 'noids (including
> `humans) are Dryopithecus and Ouranopithecus (= Graecopithecus?).
> `Ouranopithecus especially shows potentially apomorphic features (African
> `pattern premax/palate articulation, well-developed supraorbital tori)
> `that link it with African apes. There was a recent suggestion that
> `Ouranopithecus is in fact a sister group to gorillas, and the discoverers
> `of much of the recent material make a reasonable case for Ouranopithecus
> `being the earliest hominid (I use "hominid" in the traditional sense
> `here).
> What is the postcranial structure like for Ouranopithecus? Has there
> been any found?
The Ouranopithecus material I've seen published (Science or Nature--not at
hand right now) is cranial. From the front, it looks like Gorilla. The
date (late Miocene, about 8 MYr BP) is supposedly prior to the
Gorilla/Pan/Ardipithecus split. The dryopithecine material (about the same
date) isn't quite as similar.

Harry Erwin
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PhD student in comp neurosci: "Glitches happen" & "Meaning is emotional"