New dental remains of Anoiapithecus and the first appearance datum of hominoids in the Iberian Peninsula

David M. Alba, Josep Fortuny, Miriam Pérez de los Ríos, Clément Zanolli, Sergio Almécija, Isaac Casanovas-Vilar, Josep M. Robles, Salvador Moyà-Solà

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    New dental remains of the fossil great ape Anoiapithecus brevirostris are described from the Middle Miocene local stratigraphic series of Abocador de Can Mata (ACM) in els Hostalets de Pierola (Vallès-Penedès Basin, NE Iberian Peninsula). These specimens correspond to maxillary fragments with upper teeth from two female individuals from two different localities: left P3-M1 (IPS41712) from ACM/C3-Aj (type locality; 11.9Ma [millions of years ago]); and right M1-M2 and left P4-M2 (IPS35027) from ACM/C1-E* (12.3-12.2Ma). Relative enamel thickness is also computed in the latter individual and re-evaluated in other Middle Miocene hominoids from ACM, in order to better assess their taxonomic affinities. With regard to maxillary sinus development, occlusal morphology, molar proportions and enamel thickness, the new specimens show greater resemblances with the (male) holotype specimen of A.brevirostris. They differ from Pierolapithecus catalaunicus in displaying less inflated crests, a more lingually-located hypocone, and relatively lower-crowned molars; from Dryopithecus fontani, in the relatively thicker enamel and lower-crowned molars; from Hispanopithecus spp., in the more inflated crown bases, less peripheral cusps and more restricted maxillary sinus; and from Hispanopithecus laietanus also in the thicker crests, more restricted occlusal foveae, and relatively lower-crowned molars. The new specimens of A.brevirostris show some slight differences compared with the holotype of this species: smaller size (presumably due to sexual size dimorphism), and less distally-tapering M2 occlusal contour (which is highly variable in both extant and extinct hominoids). The reported remains provide valuable new evidence on dental intraspecific variation and sexual dimorphism in Anoiapithecus. From a taxonomic viewpoint, they support the distinction of this taxon from both Dryopithecus and Pierolapithecus. From a chronostratigraphic perspective, IPS35027 from ACM/C1-E* enlarges the known temporal distribution of Anoiapithecus, further representing the oldest record (first appearance datum) of hominoids in the Iberian Peninsula. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)573-584
    JournalJournal of Human Evolution
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


    • Dryopithecinae
    • Dryopithecus
    • Miocene apes
    • Pierolapithecus
    • Relative enamel thickness
    • Teeth


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