Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Pliopithecus Gervais, 1849

Genus of primitive hominoid from the middle and late Miocene of Europe and Asia belonging to the family Pliopithecidae; up to five species recognized. Estimated body mass from 7 to 15 kg. Dental formula: 2.1.2.3; sexually dimorphic canines; this genus appears to include both frugivorous and folivorous species. Contains a mixture of primitive and derived catarrhine traits. This genus resembles modern gibbons cranially and, consequently, was considered to be the gibbon ancestor; however, reevaluation, particularly of many features that would require parallel evolution with other apes, has led researchers to consider questioning the phylogenetic relationship of Pliopithecus to any living hominoid.

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