, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 113-173

Sivapithecus simonsi, a new species of miocene hominoid, with comments on the phylogenetic status of the ramapithecinae

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Abstract

The Ramapithecinae are an extinct, mainly Miocene group of hominoids, whose relationship to modern taxa is disputed. Some regard them as hominids, while others view them as ancestral toPongo,or even as the group ancestral to both hominids and extant apes. In this paper a systematic revision of Ramapithecinae is undertaken. Sivapithecus sivalensis andRamapithecus punjabicus are considered the same species, with the former name having priority. A new Indian species,Sivapithecus simonsi,is recognized. Ramapithecine anatomy is reviewed and compared with that of gracileAustralopithecus, early and middle MioceneProconsul andDryopithecus, and living pongidsPan, Gorilla, andPongo.Ramapithecines are shown to be much more primitive or “ape-like” than some have argued. Anatomical data are evaluated cladistically with several results. Parallel evolution in the jaws, teeth, and facial structure of hominoids appears to be the rule rather than the exception. Bearing this in mind, nevertheless, from the available evidence of anatomy, ramapithecines are cladistically hominids.