Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Sivapithecus Pilgrim, 1910

Genus of hominoids from the late Miocene of Asia, belonging to the family Pongidae (depending on authority); currently, three species generally recognized. Major revisions in the 1960s reduced the number of previously recognized species; in the 1980s the genus Ramapithecus was referred to Sivapithecus as the female representative of the genus; this makes this genus sexually dimorphic in body size (although not in canine size). Known mainly from cranial elements and only a few postcrania. Estimated body mass from 40 to 100 kg. Dental formula: 2.1.2.3; molars characterized by a thick cap of enamel; large canines. The mandibles are robust and deep. It appears the diet consisted of hard and gritty morsels. Postcrania that are known suggest quadrupedalism as the form of locomotion. Sivapithecus bears a very strong cranial resemblance to the living orangutan and most paleoprimatologists view this genus as giving rise to Pongo. This genus appears to be associated with open forest areas.

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