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11 - Phylogenetic relationships of Ouranopithecus macedoniensis (Mammalia, Primates, Hominoidea, Hominidae) of the late Miocene deposits of Central Macedonia (Greece)

from PART III - Miocone hominoids: function and phylogeny

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 January 2010

Louis de Bonis
Affiliation:
Université de Poitiers
George D. Koufos
Affiliation:
University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Peter Andrews
Affiliation:
Natural History Museum, London
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Summary

The genus Ouranopithecus is based on the species Ouranopithecus macedoniensis, which has been described from specimens recovered in late Miocene layers of Macedonia, northern Greece. The first specimen, a mandible of a young individual, the type-specimen of the species, was first published under the name Dryopithecus macedoniensis (Bonis et al., 1974). At that time, following a recent revision of Miocene hominoids (Simons & Pilbeam, 1965), all the Miocene genera, except ‘Ramapithecus’, were included in the genus Dryopithecus. Some years later, the discovery of several jaws and isolated teeth led to naming the new genus Ouranopithecus (Bonis & Melentis, 1977). All the material was recovered from a locality named Ravin de la Pluie, 25 km west of the city of Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece. Later, a nearly complete face of Ouranopithecus was recovered from the locality of Xirochori close to the Ravin de la Pluie (Bonis et al., 1990) and a mandible and a maxilla were found at Nikiti 1, 100 km east of Thessaloniki (Koufos, 1993; 1995). All the specimens are of similar geological age (Bonis & Koufos, 1999) and the three localities had similar palaeoenvironment. Nikiti 1, however, although closely resembling the open environments of Ravin de la Pluie and Xirochori 1 (Bonis et al., 1992) by the presence of large numbers of giraffids, differs from them by the presence of boselaphines and the suid Microstonyx which indicate a more forested environment (Kostopoulos et al., 1996; Kostopoulos & Koufos, 1996).

Dating and environment

The fossil vertebrate bearing localities of the Central Macedonian basin were discovered in 1915 (Arambourg & Piveteau, 1929; Bonis & Koufos, 1994).

Type
Chapter
Information
Hominoid Evolution and Climatic Change in Europe
Phylogeny of the Neogene Hominoid Primates of Eurasia
, pp. 254 - 268
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2001

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