Significance of Recent Hominoid Discoveries from the Siwalik Hills of India

  • S. R. K. Chopra
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


In earlier communications (Chopra, 1974, 1976, 1978) I have given a brief historical review of paleoprimatological studies in India and the scientific issues that engaged earlier researchers. It is clear that past research was largely exploratory in nature, and only recently have careful followup studies both in the field and the laboratory been attempted with a view to identifying the. region’s potential. Of interest are studies on the paleoecology of the Siwalik* Formations, on stratigraphic ranges and faunal assemblages for reconstructing paleoenvironments on the basis of lithology and paleocommunity structures, and, finally, on human origins (Vasishat et al.,1978a,b; Gaur et al.,1978a,b). As an integral part of the theme of a new interpretation of human ancestry, it is relevant to note the new lower primate finds [tree shrews (Chopra et al.,1979; Chopra and Vasishat, 1979), adapids and lorisids (Chopra and Vasishat, 1980a,b)], which have provocative implications for the evolutionary diversification of primates on the Indian subcontinent. It would also be relevant to discuss Pleistocene correlations with climatic and human cultural levels in various parts of the subcontinent, to bring into sharper focus the possibility of the origin of the hominid family in India and the crucial need for new investigations and acquisition of future support for the extension of this work. However, as the title of this chapter suggests, it is intended here to discuss only the significance of new Miocene hominoids in the Siwalik Hills as providing new evidence for a reinterpretation of ape and human ancestry.


Indian Subcontinent Occlusal Surface Tree Shrew Mental Foramen Occlusal View 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. R. K. Chopra
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia

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