Sivapithecus


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Related to Sivapithecus: Australopithecus, Ramapithecus

Sivapithecus

 

a genus of fossil anthropoid apes. Fragments of the lower and upper jaws and teeth were found in Miocene deposits in Asia in the Himalayan Siwaliks and in East Africa. The lower jaw of Sivapithecus was high and massive. The teeth resembled both human teeth and the teeth of anthropoid apes. They were similar to human teeth in that the premolars were small bicuspids and the molars were broad; like anthropoid apes, Sivapithecus had massive canines. Sivapithecus and dryopithecids are considered to be the ancestors of anthropoid apes, particularly orangutans.

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One argument supports an ancestral link between the ancient Asian ape and modern orangutans based on shared features of the face, nose and palate, while maintaining that limb similarities between Sivapithecus and African apes represent independent developments.
Thus, Pilbeam and his co-workers maintain, further fossil discoveries of Sivapithecus probably will not reveal its definitive ancestral standing.
They add that previous fossil finds indicate Sivapithecus also shared with living African apes some important hand and foot features that aid in four-legged walking.
The new finds do not resolve this conflict, but the Leakeys now believe that Sivapithecus was restricted to Asia.
Richard Leakey, head of the National Museums of Kenya, and Alan Walker of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore analyze fossils they discovered two years ago at the Bulouk site in northern Kenya and initially identified as an early form of Sivapithecus (SN: 1/21/84, p.
But Leakey and Walker say the new analysis confirms their view that the Buluk creature is an early type of Sivapithecus ancestral to modern apes and humans.
In several early 1983 articles translated by Etler, Wu and colleagues contend that Ramapithecus and Sivapithecus are the female and male of one species, an ancestor of the orangutan.