Know Your Primate: Anoiapithecus brevirostris

Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorrhini
Family: Hominidae
Subfamily: incertae sedis
Tribe: Dryopithecini
Genus: Anoiapithecus
Species: Anoiapithecus brevirostris

I have chosen Anoiapithecus brevirostris for this week’s “know Your Primate” because a paper on it has recently been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The paper, by Alba, Fortuny, and Moya-Sola, looks at enamel thickness in Anoiapithecus brevirostris, Pierolapithecus catalaunicus, and Dryopithecus fontani.
I”l have more about the paper later in the week. Continue reading

Anoiapithecus brevirostris: An Interesting Miocene Ape

I have mentioned this find in several posts in a “hey look at this” kind of way, but wanted to go into the subject in a little more detail. The fossil was discovered in Catalonia, Spain, and dates to ~11.9 MYA. The fossil is described in PNAS – subscription required and is accompanied by open access supplementary material (which has one figure mislabeled). There are a number of interesting issues in the article and I will look at a few of them here. Continue reading

Anoiapithecus brevirostris

I’m still in the process of reading the paper and hope to have a more detailed post up later. In the meantime here are some pictures for your edification.

Continue reading

New Hominoid Discovered: Anoiapithecus brevirostris

PhysOrg.Com is reporting on the discovery of a new, and important, hominoid. The new hominoid has been named Anoiapithecus brevirostris:

The new genus and species, Anoiapithecus brevirostris, has been described on the basis of a partial cranium that preserves most of the face and the associated mandible. This cranium was recovered during the works of paleontological control that are customarily carried out at ACM, due to the fossiliferous richness of the area of els Hostalets de Pierola. The process of preparation was long-lasting and complicated, due to the fragility of the remains, but once the material were available for analysis, the surprise was enormous. The specimen (IPS43000) combined a set of features that until now had never been found from the fossil record.

On the one hand, Anoiapithecus displays a very modern facial morphology, with a muzzle prognathism so reduced that, within the family Hominidae, we can only find comparable values within the genus Homo, whereas the remaining great apes are notoriously more prognathic. This extraordinary fact does not indicate that Anoiapithecus has any relationship with Homo, but it might be a case of convergence. Probably, the evolutionary meaning of this finding is a different one, but not for this reason it is less interesting.

The second surprise provided by Lluc is that it enabled to solve two key questions regarding the origin of our family: what group it is derived from, and which is the geographic area where the family Hominidae originated.

The find is being published in PNAS and requires subscription – if anybody has access I would appreciate it if you could send a copy.