Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Dryopithecinae

Subfamily of Miocene hominoids belonging to the family Pongidae; in some taxonomic schemes, a subfamily of the Hominidae; known from Europe, South Asia, and China depending on which genera are recognized as belonging to this family; dryopithecine. One view is that only Dryopithecus should be in this subfamily; number of genera and species in dispute; revisions of the subfamily and the genus Dryopithecus are ongoing; it is also common for this group of apes to be included among the pongids without subfamily status. Known mainly from jaws and dentition. Dental formula: 2.1.2.3; the tooth rows are parallel to one another, forming a hard U; relative to the ramamorphs, the other major group of large Eurasian Miocene hominoids, there is a thin cap of enamel on the molars and premolars; molar morphology and the thinly enameled molars suggest a nonabrasive diet, such as frugivory. Associated with forest habitats.

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