Aegyptopithecus

Name: Aegyptopithecus ‭(‬Egypt age‭).
Phonetic: Ay-gyp-toe-pif-e-kus.
Named By: E.‭ S‬imons‭ ‬-‭ ‬1965.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Primates,‭ ‬Haplorrhini,‭ ‬Propliopithecoidea,‭ ‬Propliopithecidae.
Species: A.‭ ‬zeuxis‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Frugivore.
Size: Weight estimated at around‭ ‬6.7‭ ‬kilograms.
Known locations: Egypt,‭ ‬Fayum Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Jebel Qatrani Formation.
Time period: Rupelian of the Oligocene.
Fossil representation: Many specimens.

       Although usually regarded as its own genus,‭ ‬there is on-going debate over how Aegyptopithecus might actually be the same primate as Propliopithecus.‭ ‬If this eventually does happen then material that has been named Aegyptopithecus will be re-named Propliopithecus.‭
       Aegyptopithecus is thought to have been a frugivore,‭ ‬a herbivorous creature that specialises in eating fruit.‭ ‬However there is also evidence to suggest that Aegyptopithecus would also occasionally eat tougher plant parts,‭ ‬perhaps as a result of a lack of its preferred food.‭ ‬As is common in primates,‭ ‬the canine teeth of male Aegyptopithecus are larger than those of females,‭ ‬a clear sign of sexual dimorphism with the enlarged canines serving as display and potential weapons between competing males.‭ ‬Due to its dietary preference and size,‭ ‬Aegyptopithecus is seen to have been an arboreal creature that lived in the tree canopies of Oligocene era Egypt.‭ ‬It might be hard to imagine this kind of habitat in Egypt today,‭ ‬but the desertification of this country and other regions of North Africa is actually a very recent occurrence when go‭ ‬you‭ ‬by a geological time scale.



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