Overview of Ape and Human Ancestry

Phyletic Relationships of Miocene and Later Hominoidea
  • R. S. Corruccini
  • R. L. Ciochon
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


With increasing numbers of East African discoveries over the last 10 years, the hominid fossil record has become more complete for the upper Pliocene through Pleistocene time span. The greater part of the earlier Pliocene remains devoid of definite hominids, however, and one major reason for interest in descriptions of early hominids such as Australopithecus afarensis (Johanson and White, 1979) is. the inference backward in time toward the possible appearance of the earliest hominid ancestor. In fact, there is no more challenging issue in anthropology than the origin of the hominid lineage. This particular ethnocentric emphasis began with the inception of the age of evolutionary reasoning. Darwin in his major writings inferred that an ancient anthropomorphous subgroup gave rise to humans, and he made it clear that the resemblance of humans to the anthropoid apes in so many respects could only be due to homologous characters shared with a common ancestor.


Early Hominid Pygmy Chimpanzee Miocene Hominoid Hominoid Primate Fossil Hominoid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andrews, P. J. 1978a. A revision of the Miocene Hominoidea of East Africa. Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Geol. 30: 85–224.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews, P. 1978b. Taxonomy and relationships of fossil apes, in: Recent Advances in Primatology, Volume 3, Evolution ( D. J. Chivers and K. A. Joysey, eds.), pp. 43–56, Academic, London.Google Scholar
  3. Andrews, P., and Simons, E. L. 1976. A new African gibbon-like genus Dendropithecus (Homi-noidea, Primates) with distinctive postcranial adaptations: The significance to origin of Hylobatidae. Folia Primatol. 28: 161–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Andrews, P., and Tekkaya, I., 1976. Ramapithecus in Kenya and Turkey, in: Les Plus Anciens Hominides (P. V. Tobias and Y. Coppens, eds.), pp. 7–25, Colloque VI, I X Union Internationale des Sciences Prehistoriques et Protohistoriques, Nice. CNRS, Paris.Google Scholar
  5. Andrews, P., and Tekkaya, I. 1980. A revision of the Turkish Miocene hominoid Sivapithecus meteai. Palaeontology. 23: 85–95.Google Scholar
  6. Andrews, P., and Tobien, H. 1977. A new Miocene locality in Turkey with evidence on the origin of Ramapithecus and Sivapithecus. Nature (Lond.) 268: 699–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Andrews, P. J., and Van Couvering, J. A. 1975. Paleoenvironments in the East African Miocene, in: Approaches to Primate Paleobiology (F. S. Szalay, ed.). Contrib. Primatol. 5: 62–103.Google Scholar
  8. Andrews, P., and Walker, A. 1976. The primate and other fauna from Fort Ternan, Kenya, in: Human Origins: Louis Leakey and the East African Evidence ( G. L. Isaac and E. R. McCown, eds.), pp. 279–304, Benjamin, Menlo Park, California.Google Scholar
  9. Andrews, P., Harrison, T., Martin, L., and Pickford, M. 1981a. Hominoid primates from a new Miocene locality named Meswa Bridge in Kenya. J. Hum. Evol. 10: 123–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Andrews, P., Meyer, G., Pilbeam, D., Van Couvering, J. A., and Van Couvering, J. A. H. 1981b. The Miocene of Maboko Island, Kenya: Geology, age, taphonomy and paleontology. J. Hum. Evol. 10: 35–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chopra, S. R. K. 1978. New fossil evidence on the evolution of Hominoidea in the Siwaliks and its bearing on the problem of the evolution of early man in India. J. Hum. Evol. 7: 3–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ciochon, R. L., and Corruccini, R. S. 1977. The phenetic position of Pliopithecus and its phy-logenetic relationship to the Hominoidea. Syst. Zool. 26: 290–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Corruccini, R. S. 1977. Crown component variation in hominoid lower third molars. Z. Morphol. Anthropol. 68: 14–25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Corruccini, R. S. 1978. Comparative osteometrics of the hominoid wrist joint, with special reference to knuckle-walking. J. Hum. Evol. 7: 307–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Corruccini, R. S., and McHenry, H. M. 1979. Morphological affinities of Pan paniscus. Science 204: 1341–1343.Google Scholar
  16. Corruccini, R. S., Ciochon, R. L., and McHenry, H. M. 1976. The postcranium of Miocene hominoids: Were dryopithecines merely “dental apes”? Primates 17: 205–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Corruccini, R. S., Baba, M., Goodman, M., Ciochon, R. L., and Cronin, J. E. 1980. Nonlinear macromolecular evolution and the molecular clock. Evolution 34: 1216–1219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Corruccini, R. S., Cronin, J. E., and Ciochon, R. L. 1979. Scaling analysis and congruence among anthropoid primate macromolecules. Hum. Biol. 51: 167–185.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Cronin, J. E. 1977. Anthropoid evolution: The molecular evidence. Kroeber Anthropol. Soc. Pap. 50: 75–84.Google Scholar
  20. Darwin, C. 1871. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Vol. 1. John Murray, London.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. De Bonis, L., and Melentis, J. 1977. Un nouveau genre de Primate hominoïde dans le Vallésian (Miocène Supérieur) de Macedoine. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris D 284: 1393–1395.Google Scholar
  22. De Bonis, L., Bouvrain, G., Geraads, D., and Melentis, J. 1974. Première decouverte d’un Primate hominoïde dans le Miocène Supérieur de Macédoine. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris D 278: 3063–3066.Google Scholar
  23. De Bonis, L., Johanson, D. C., Melentis, J., and White, T. D. 1981. Variations métriques la denture chez les Hominidés primitifs: Comparaison entre Australopithecus afarensis et Ouranopithecus macedoniensis. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris D 292: 373–376.Google Scholar
  24. Delson, E., and Andrews, P. 1975. Evolution and interrelationships of the catarrhine primates, in: Phylogeny of the Primates ( W. P. Luckett and F. S. Szalay, eds.), pp. 405–446, Plenum, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Delson, E., Eldredge, N., and Tattersall, I. 1977. Reconstruction of hominid phylogeny: A testable framework based on cladistic analysis. J. Hum. Evol. 6: 263–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Eldredge, N., and Tattersall, I. 1975. Evolutionary models, phylogenetic reconstruction, and another look at hominid phylogeny, in: Approaches to Primate Paleobiology (F. S. Szalay, ed.). Contrib. Primatol. 5: 218–242.Google Scholar
  27. Fleagle, J. G. 1975. A small gibbon-like hominoid from the Miocene of Uganda. Folic Primatol. 24: 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fleagle, J. G., and Simons, E. L. 1978a. Micropithecus clarki, a small ape from the Miocene of Uganda. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 49: 427–440.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fleagle, J. G., and Simons, E. L. 1978b. Humeral morphology of the earliest apes. Nature (Lond.) 276: 705–707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Fleagle, J. G., Simons, E. L., and Conroy, G. C. 1975. Ape limb bone from Oligocene of Egypt. Science 189: 135–137.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Frayer, D. W. 1978. The taxonomic status of Ramapithecus, in: Krapinski Pracovjek i Evolucija Hominida ( M. Malez, ed.), pp. 255–268, Jugoslavenska Akademija Znznosti i Umjetnosti, Zagreb, Yugoslavia.Google Scholar
  32. Gantt, D. G., Pilbeam, D., and Steward, G. 1977. Hominoid enamel prism patterns. Science 198: 1155–1157.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Goodman, M. 1976. Toward a genealogical description of the Primates, in: Molecular Anthropology ( M. Goodman and R. E. Tashian, eds.), pp. 321–353, Plenum, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Goodman, M., and Lasker, G. W. 1975. Molecular evidence as to man’s place in nature, in: Primate Functional Morphology and Evolution ( R. H. Tuttle, ed.), pp. 71–101, Mouton, The Hague.Google Scholar
  35. Gould, S. J. 1979. Our greatest evolutionary step. Nat. Hist. 88 (6): 40–44.Google Scholar
  36. Greenfield, L. O. 1974. Taxonomic reassessment of two Ramapithecus specimens. Folio Primatol. 22: 97–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Greenfield, L. O. 1975. A comment on relative molar breadth in Ramapithecus. J. Hum. Evol. 4: 267–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Greenfield, L. O. 1978. On the dental arcade reconstructions of Ramapithecus. J. Hum. Evol. 7: 345–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Greenfield, L. O. 1979. On the adaptive pattern of “Ramapithecus.” Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 50: 527–548.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Greenfield, L. O. 1980. A late divergence hypothesis. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 52: 351–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Gregory, W. K. 1922. The Origin and Evolution of the Human Dentition, Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore. 548 pp.Google Scholar
  42. Harrison, T. 1982. Small Bodied Apes from the Miocene of East Africa, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of London.Google Scholar
  43. Howell, F. C., Washburn, S. L., and Ciochon, R. L. 1978. Relationship of Australopithecus and Homo. J. Hum. Evol. 7: 127–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Jia, L.-P. 1980. Early Man in China, Language Press, Beijing.Google Scholar
  45. Johanson, D. C., and White, T. D. 1979. A systematic assessment of early African hominids. Science 203: 321–330.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Johanson, D. C., White, T. D., and Coppens, Y. 1978. A new species of the genus Australopithecus (Primates: Hominidae) from the Pliocene of Eastern Africa. Kirtlandia 28: 1–14.Google Scholar
  47. Johnson, S. 1981. Bonobos: Generalized hominid prototypes or specialized insular dwarfs ? Curr. Anthropol. 22: 363–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kay, R. F. 1977a. The evolution of molar occlusion in the Cercopithecidae and early catarrhines. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 46: 327–352.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Kay, R. F. 1977b. Diets of early Miocene African hominoids. Nature (Lord.) 268: 628–630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kay, R. F. 1981. The nut-crackers-A new theory of the adaptations of the Ramapithecinae. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 55: 141–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kay, R. F. 1982. Sivapithecus simonsi, a new species of Miocene hominoid with comments on the phylogenetic status of the Ramapithecinae. Int. J. Primatol. 3: 113–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Kay, R. F., Fleagle, J. G., and Simons, E. L. 1981. A revision of the Oligocene apes of the Fayum Province, Egypt. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 55: 293–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Kortlandt, A. 1974. New perspectives on ape and human evolution. Curr. Anthropol. 15: 427–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Kretzoi, M. 1975. New ramapithecines and Pliopithecus from the lower Pliocene of Rudabânya in north-eastern Hungary. Nature (Lond.) 257: 578–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Latimer, B. M., White, T. D., Kimbel, W. H., Lovejoy, C. O., and Johanson, D. C. 1981. The pygmy chimpanzee is not a living missing link in human evolution. J. Hum. Evol. 10: 475–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Le Gros Clark, W. E., and Leakey, L. S. B. 1951. The Miocene Hominoidea of East Africa. Fossil Mammals of Africa (Br. Mus. Nat. Hist.) 1: 1–117.Google Scholar
  57. Lewis, G. E. 1934. Preliminary notice of manlike apes from India. Am. J. Sci. 27: 161–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Lovejoy, C. O., and Meindl, R. S. 1972. Eukaryote mutation and the protein clock. Yearb. Phys. Anthropol. 16: 18–30.Google Scholar
  59. Lowenstein J.M. 1982. Fossil proteins and evolutionary time, in: Proceedings of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, The Vatican, Rome (in press).Google Scholar
  60. Martin, L. 1981. New specimens of Proconsul from Koru, Kenya. J. Hum. Evol. 10: 139–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. McHenry, H. M., and Corruccini, R. S. 1976. Affinities of Tertiary hominoid femora. Folia Primatol. 26: 139–150.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. McHenry, H. M., and Corruccini, R. S. 1980. Pan paniscus and human evolution. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 54: 355–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. McHenry, H. M., Andrews, P., and Corruccini, R. S. 1980. Miocene hominoid palatofacial morphology. Folia Primatol. 33: 241–252.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Morbeck, M. E. 1975. Dryopithecus africanus forelimb. J. Hum Evol. 4: 39–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Morbeck, M. E. 1976. Problems in reconstruction of fossil anatomy and locomotor behavior: The Dryopithecus elbow complex. J. Hum. Evol. 5: 223–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Morbeck, M. E. 1979. Hominoidea postcranial remains from Rudabânya, Hungary. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 50: 465–466 (Abstract).Google Scholar
  67. O’Connor, B. L. 1976. Dryopithecus (Proconsul) africanus: Quadruped or non-quadruped? J. Hum. Evol. 5: 279–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Oxnard, C. E. 1975. The place of the australopithecines in human evolution: Grounds for doubt? Nature (Lord.) 258: 389–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Ozansoy, F. 1957. Faunes des mammifères du Tertiare de Turquie et leurs revisions stratigraphiques. Bull. Min. Res. Explor. Inst. Turkey 49: 29–48.Google Scholar
  70. Pickford, M. 1981. Preliminary Miocene mammalian biostratigraphy for western Kenya. J. Hum. Evol. 10: 73–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Pilbeam, D. R. 1969. Tertiary Pongidae of East Africa: Evolutionary relationships and taxonomy. Bull. Peabody Mus. Nat. Hist. (Yale Univ.)31:1–185.Google Scholar
  72. Pilbeam, D. 1978. Rearranging our family tree. Hum. Nat. 1 (6): 38–45.Google Scholar
  73. Pilbeam, D. R. 1979. Recent finds and interpretations of Miocene hominoids. Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 8: 333–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Pilbeam, D. R. 1980. Major trends in human evolution in: Current Argument on Early Man (L. K. Konigsson, ed.), pp. 261–285, Pergamon, Oxford.Google Scholar
  75. Pilbeam, D. 1982. New hominoid skull material from the Miocene of Pakistan. Nature (Lond.) 295: 232–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Pilbeam, D. R., Meyer, G. E., Badgley, C., Rose, M. D., Pickford, M. H. L., Behrensmeyer, A. K., and Shah, S. M. I. 1977. New hominoid primates from the Siwaliks of Pakistan and their bearing on hominoid evolution. Nature (Loud.) 270: 689–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Pilbeam, D. R., Rose, M. D., Badgley, C., and Lipschutz, B. 1980. Miocene hominoids from Pakistan. Postilla (Peabody Mus. Nat. Hist., Yale Univ.) 181: 1–94.Google Scholar
  78. Pilgrim, G. 1927. A Sivapithecus palate and other primate fossils from India. Mem. Geol. Surv. India (Palaeontol. Ind.) 14: 1–26.Google Scholar
  79. Preuschoft, H. 1973. Body posture and locomotion in some East African Miocene Dryopithecinae, in: Human Evolution (M. H. Day, ed.), pp. 13–46, Symposium of the Society for the Study of Human Biology, Volume 11, Barnes and Noble, New York.Google Scholar
  80. Sarich, V. M. 1971. A molecular approach to the question of human origins, in: Background for Man ( V. M. Sarich and P. Dolhinow, eds.), pp. 60–81, Little Brown, Boston.Google Scholar
  81. Sarich, V. M., and Cronin, J. E. 1976. Molecular systematics of the Primates, in: Molecular Anthropology ( M. Goodman and R. E. Tashian, eds.), pp. 141–170, Plenum, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Sarich, V. M. and Wilson, A. C. 1967. Immunological time scale for hominid evolution. Science 158: 1200–1203.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Schwartz, J. H.,’Tattersall, I., and Eldredge,N. 1978. Phylogeny and classification of the primates revisited. Yearb. Phys. Anthropol. 21: 95–133.Google Scholar
  84. Simons, E. L. 1961. The phyletic position of Ramapithecus. Postilla (Peabody Mus. Nat. Hist., Yale Univ.) 57: 1–9.Google Scholar
  85. Simons, E. L. 1964. On the mandible of Ramapithecus. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 51: 528–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Simons, E. L. 1967. The earliest apes. Sci. Am. 217 (6): 28–35.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Simons, E. L. 1968. A source for dental comparison of Ramapithecus with Australopithecus and Homo. S. Afr. J. Sci. 64: 92–112.Google Scholar
  88. Simons, E. L. 1972. Primate Evolution, Macmillan, New York. 322 pp.Google Scholar
  89. Simons, E. L. 1977. Ramapithecus. Sci. Am. 236 (5): 28–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Simons, E. L., and Chopra, S. R. K. 1969a. A preliminary announcement of a new Gigantopithecus species from India, in: Proceedings Second International Congress Primatology, Atlanta, GA. 1968, Vol. 2, pp. 135–142, Karger, Basel.Google Scholar
  91. Simons, E. L., and Chopra, S. R. K. 1969b. Gigantopithecus (Pongidae, Hominoidea) a new species from North India. Postilla (Peabody Mus. Nat. Hist., Yale Univ.) 138: 1–18.Google Scholar
  92. Simons, E. L., and Fleagle, J. G. 1973. The history of extinct gibbon-like primates. Gibbon and Siamang 2: 121–148.Google Scholar
  93. Simons, E. L., and Pilbeam, D. R. 1965. Preliminary revision of the Dryopithecinae (Pongidae, Anthropoidea). Folia Primatol. 3: 81–152.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Simons, E. L., and Pilbeam, D. R. 1972. Hominoid paleoprimatology, in: The Functional and Evolutionary Biology of Primates ( R. Tuttle, ed.), pp. 36–62, Aldine Atherton, Chicago.Google Scholar
  95. Simons, E. L., Andrews, P., and Pilbeam, D. R. 1978. Cenozoic apes, in: Evolution of African Mammals ( V. J. Maglio and H. B. S. Cooke, eds.), pp. 120–146, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  96. Susman, R. L. 1979. The comparative and functional morphology of hominoid fingers. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 50: 215–236.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Tekkaya, I. 1974. A new species of Tortonian anthropoid (Primates, Mammalia) from Anatolia. Bull. Min. Res. Explor. Inst. Turkey 83: 148–165.Google Scholar
  98. Tuttle, R. H. 1975. Parallelism, brachiation, and hominoid phylogeny, in: Phylogeny of the Primates ( W. P. Luckett and F. S. Szalay, eds.), pp. 447–480, Plenum, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Tuttle, R. H., Basmajian, J. V., Regenos, E., and Shine, G. 1972. Electromyography of knuckle-walking: Results of four experiments on the forearm of Pan gorilla. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 37: 255–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Uzzell, T., and Pilbeam, D. R. 1971. Phyletic divergence dates of hominoid primates: A comparison of fossil and molecular data. Evolution 25: 615–635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Von Koenigswald, G. H. R. 1935. Eine fossile Saugetierfauna mit Simia aus Sudchina. Proc. K. Ned. Akad. Wet. Amsterdam 38: 872–879.Google Scholar
  102. Von Koenigswald, G. H. R. 1972. Ein Unterkiefer eines fossilen Hominoiden aus dem un-terpliosan Greichenlands. Proc. K. Ned. Akad. Wet. Amsterdam B 75: 385–394.Google Scholar
  103. Walker, A. C., and Andrews, P. 1973. Reconstruction of the dental arcades of Ramapithecus wickeri. Nature (Lond.) 244: 313–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Washburn, S. L. 1972. Human evolution, in: Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 6 ( Th. Dobzhansky, M. K. Hecht and W. C. Steere, eds.), pp. 349–361, Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York.Google Scholar
  105. Washburn, S. L. 1978. The evolution of man. Sci. Am. 239 (3): 194–208.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. Wiley, E. 0. 1981. Phylogenetics: The Theory and Practice of Phylogenetic Systematics, John Wiley, New York. 439 pp.Google Scholar
  107. Wu, R. 1981. First skull of Ramapithecus found. China Reconstructs 30 (4): 68–69.Google Scholar
  108. Xu, Q., and Lu, Q. 1979. The mandibles of Ramapithecus and Sivapithecus from Lufeng, Yunnan. Vertebr. Palasiat. 17: 1–13.Google Scholar
  109. Xu, Q., and Lu, Q. 1980. The Lufeng ape skull and its significance. China Reconstructs 29 (1): 56–57.Google Scholar
  110. Zihlman, A. L., and Lowenstein, J. 1979. False start in the human parade. Nat. Hist. 88: 85–91.Google Scholar
  111. Zihlman, A. L., Cronin, J. E., Cramer, D. L., and Sarich, V. M. 1978. Pygmy chimpanzee as a possible prototype for the common ancestor of humans, chimpanzees and gorillas. Nature (Lond.) 275: 744–746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. S. Corruccini
    • 1
  • R. L. Ciochon
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologySouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PaleontologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations