The nasal and paranasal architecture of the Middle Miocene ape Pierolapithecus catalaunicus (primates: Hominidae): Phylogenetic implications

Miriam Pérez de Los Ríos, Salvador Moyà-Solà, David M. Alba

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17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The internal (nasal and paranasal) cranial anatomy of the Middle Miocene (11.9 Ma [millions of years ago]) great ape . Pierolapithecus catalaunicus (Hominidae: Dryopithecini) is described on the basis of computed-tomography scans of the holotype specimen (IPS21350), with particular emphasis on its phylogenetic implications. . Pierolapithecus displays the following characters: an anteriorly-restricted maxillary sinus that posteriorly spreads towards the ethmoidal area (thus resembling the pongine condition), although being situated well above the molar roots (as in kenyapithecins, other dryopithecins and pongines); lack of frontal sinus (a synapomorphy of derived pongines, independently acquired by both cercopithecoids and hylobatids); posteriorly-situated turbinals (as in . Pongo); anteriorly-projecting nasolacrimal canal (as in . Pongo); and probably stepped nasal floor with non-overlapping premaxillary-maxillary contact (as in dryopithecines and stem hominoids, although it cannot be conclusively shown due to bone damage). Overall, . Pierolapithecus displays a mosaic of primitive hominid and derived pongine features that are inconsistent with this taxon being a hominine (as previously suggested). Two alternative phylogenetic interpretations are possible: . Pierolapithecus may be a stem member of the Hominidae as previously suggested in its original description, or alternatively this taxon may be a stem member of the Ponginae s.l. (with the European dryopithecines being the sister taxon to the Asian pongines). © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-506
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Volume63
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Computed tomography
  • Hominoids
  • Nasal cavity
  • Neogene
  • Paranasal sinuses
  • Spain

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