Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Pilbeam, David R. (1940-)

British/US paleoanthropologist at Yale and Harvard. With his mentor Elwyn Simons, revised Miocene hominoid taxonomy in the 1960s and, in so doing, greatly collapsed the number of primate genera and species. Pilbeam was an advocate of Ramapithecus (later included in Sivapithecus) as the earliest hominid ancestor with the divergence of humans and the other African apes placed around 15 mya. After political upheaval forced him to leave the paleontological sites he was working in South Asia, he relocated to Africa and became director of the Baringo Research Project in Kenya. Author of The Ascent of Man (1972).

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