The two hominoid teeth - a central upper incisor (NMB G.a.9.) and an upper molar (FSL 213981) - from the Middle Miocene site of La Grive-Saint-Alban (France) have been traditionally attributed to Dryopithecus fontani (Hominidae: Dryopithecinae). However, during the last decade discoveries in the Vallès-Penedès Basin (Spain) have shown that several hominoid genera were present in Western Europe during the late Middle Miocene. As a result, the attribution of the dryopithecine teeth from La Grive is not as straightforward as previously thought. In fact, similarities with the upper incisor of Pierolapithecus have led to suggestions that either the latter taxon is present at La Grive, or that it is a junior synonym of Dryopithecus. Here, we re-describe the La Grive teeth and critically revise their taxonomic assignment based on metrical and morphological comparisons with other Middle to Late Miocene hominoids from Europe and Turkey, with particular emphasis on those from the Vallès-Penedès Basin. Our results suggest that the I 1 differs in several respects from those of Pierolapithecus and Hispanopithecus, so that an attribution to either Dryopithecus or Anoiapithecus (for which this tooth is unknown) seems more likely. The molar, in turn, most likely corresponds to the M1 of a female individual. Compared to other Middle Miocene taxa, its occlusal morphology enables its distinction from Pierolapithecus, whereas relative crown height agrees well with Dryopithecus. Therefore, based on available evidence, we support the traditional attribution of the La Grive hominoid to D. fontani. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Middle Miocene