Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Dryopithecus Lartet, 1856

Genus of hominoids from the middle Miocene of Europe belonging to the subfamily Dryopithecinae (depending on author). This was the first fossil ape described. Historically this genus included many more species and had a more widespread geographic range; revisions in recent years have reduced both the number of species and the geographic range. There have been two major revisions since the 1960s; currently, two to four species recognized. Known principally from jaws, teeth, and several crania. Estimated body mass from 20 to 40 kg. Dental formula: 2.1.2.3; molar morphology and a thin cap of enamel on the cheek teeth suggests a nonabrasive diet such as frugivory. Associated with forest habitats.

Cf. Gigantopithecus, Rudapithecus, Sivapithecus.

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