A partial hominoid humerus from the middle miocene of Castell de Barberà (Vallès-Penedès Basin, Catalonia, Spain)

David M. Alba, Salvador Moyà-Solà, Sergio Almécija

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The hominoid right partial humerus IPS4334, from the middle Miocene (MN 8) of Castell de Barberà (Vallès-Penedès Basin, Catalonia, Spain), is described. It preserves the mid-distal portion of the shaft until the proximal margins of the radial and coronoid fossae, as well as the proximal portion of the olecranon fossa; the capitulum, the trochlea and the two epicondyles are missing. Although morphological comparisons are restricted, available evidence indicates that IPS4334 is more derived towards the modern hominoid condition than the Klein Hadersdorf specimen attributed to Griphopithecus (ca. 13-14 Ma), thus being most similar (except for its larger size and greater robusticity) to the presumably juvenile specimen of Dryopithecus fontani from Saint Gaudens in France (ca. 11-12 Ma). On the basis of shaft measurements and allometric regressions derived for extant hominoids, a body mass estimate around 50 kg is derived for IPS4334. Morphological similarities with the Saint Gaudens specimen, together with the large body mass estimate, suggest a tentative attribution of IPS4334 to cf. D. fontani, which is the largest hominoid taxon so far recorded from the Vallès- Penedès Basin. The larger size and higher robusticity of IPS4334 as compared to the Saint Gaudens specimen might be explained by the juvenile status of the latter and/or sexual dimorphism. When both specimens are considered together with a partial femur from Abocador de Can Mata, D. fontani emerges as a less suspensory ape than the late Miocene Hispanopithecus, the locomotor repertoire of the former emphasizing climbing, but still displaying a significant quadrupedal component. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-381
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


  • Dryopithecini
  • Dryopithecus fontani
  • great apes
  • Hominoidea
  • late Aragonian


Dive into the research topics of 'A partial hominoid humerus from the middle miocene of Castell de Barberà (Vallès-Penedès Basin, Catalonia, Spain)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this