Dryopithecus fontani


Dryopithecus fontani had a dental formula of 2:1:2:3 on both the upper and lower jaw (Fleagle, 1988). The incisors of this species were relatively narrow and less spatulate compared to other genera like Proconsul (Conroy, 1990). This species had relatively broad lower premolars and relatively long upper premolars (Fleagle, 1988). The upper molars of this species had a partly developed lingual cingulum (Fleagle, 1988). The lower molars had the Y5 pattern, also called the Dryopithecus pattern (Gregory, 1916; cited in Martin, 1990). The cheek had a thin layer of enamel on them and low, rounded cusps in this species (Fleagle, 1988). This species had gracile canines and a short premaxilla (Fleagle, 1988). The mandible of this species had an inferior transverse torus but lacked a superior transverse torus (Conroy, 1990). The forelimbs of this species had a reduced olecranon process, a deep humeral trochlea, and the loss of the entepicondylar foramen (Morbeck, 1983; cited in Fleagle, 1988). This species had an average body mass of around 35.0 kilograms (Fleagle, 1988).

Dryopithecus fontani was found on the continent of Europe and occurred during the middle Miocene (Fleagle, 1988). The type specimen of this species was discovered by naturalist M. Fontan near the village of St. Gaudens, France in 1856 (Conroy, 1990).

Based upon dental morphology this was a frugivorous species (Fleagle, 1988).

Conroy, G.C. 1990. Primate Evolution. W.W. Norton and Co.: New York.

Fleagle, J.G. 1988. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press: New York.

Gregory, W.K. 1916. Studies on the Evolution of the Primates. I. The Cope-Osborn 'Theory of Trituberculy' and the Ancestoral Molar Pattern of the Primates. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., Vol. 35, 239-257.

Morbeck, M.E. 1983. Miocene Hominoid Discoveries from Rudabanya: Implications from the Post Cranial Skeleton. In New Interpretations of Ape and Human Ancestry. Eds. R.L. Ciochon and R. Corruccini. Plenum Press: New York.

Martin, R.D. 1990. Primate Origins and Evolution: A Phylogenetic Reconstruction. Princeton University Press: Princeton, New Jersey.

Last updated: November 14, 2001

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