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Primates

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 311–319 | Cite as

New proconsuloid postcranials from the early Miocene of Kenya

  • Daniel L. GeboEmail author
  • Nasser R. Malit
  • Isaiah Odhiambo Nengo
Original Article

Abstract

New early Miocene forelimb fossils have been recovered from the Songhor and Lower Kapurtay localities in southwestern Kenya. We describe four specimens that are similar in size and functional capabilities. Their specific allocation is problematic but these forelimb specimens must belong to either Rangwapithecus gordoni or Proconsul africanus. If these new postcranial specimens should belong to R. gordoni, on the basis of size and common dental specimens found at Songhor, they represent a new elbow complex. The morphology of these fossils is anatomically and functionally similar to that of Proconsul. The proconsuloid elbow complex allows extensive forelimb rotations and is capable of performing arboreal quadrupedalism and climbing activities. No suspensory adaptations are apparent. The proconsuloid elbow complex remains a good ancestral condition for hominoid primates.

Keywords

Miocene Rangwapithecus Proconsul Elbow anatomy 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to dedicate this article to Professor Mike Rose. His expertise in primate locomotor studies, where he pioneered the quantification of movements and postures, as well as his extensive anatomical knowledge of the primate skeleton, has culminated in a ground-breaking career. In addition, Dr. Rose is the pre-eminent expert on Miocene “hominoid” postcranial anatomy. His descriptions and functional analysis of Miocene postcranial remains are among his greatest contributions to the field. We thank him for his hard work and insights. We would also like to thank the National Museums of Kenya (Nairobi) for their assistance in the field aspects of this project. Likewise, we thank the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago) for use of their primate collections. We also thank Mary Muungu and Francis Kirera for their help with the Songhor specimens. Lastly, we further thank the LSB Leakey Foundation for a grant to I.O. Nengo.

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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel L. Gebo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nasser R. Malit
    • 2
  • Isaiah Odhiambo Nengo
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyState University of New York-BinghamtonBinghamtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyDe Anza CollegeCupertinoUSA

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