Name: Dryopithecus ‭(‬Tree ape‭)‬.
Phonetic: Dry-oh-pif-e-kus.
Named By: Lartet‭ ‬-‭ ‬1856.
Synonyms: Indopithecus,‭ ‬possibly also Rangwapithecus and Rudapithecus.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Primates,‭ ‬Hominoidea,‭ ‬Hominidae.
Species: D.‭ ‬fontani‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬brancoi,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬crusafonti,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬laietanus,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬mogharensis,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬wuduensis.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Body length‭ ‬60‭ ‬centimetres.
Known locations: Eurasia‭ & ‬East Africa.
Time period: Throughout the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Many specimens.

       Although Dryopithecus is known to have had a broad geographic distribution,‭ ‬it is particularly well known from European countries such as France,‭ ‬Spain and Hungary.‭ ‬Dryopithecus is often associated with the orangutan-like Sivapithecus,‭ ‬however study of Dryopithecus fossils indicate that it was actually very different in life.‭ ‬The main difference between these two genera are the teeth with those Dryopithecus having proportionately thinner enamel,‭ ‬something that suggests that Dryopithecus ate mainly soft vegetation such as fruits.‭ ‬This has led to suggestion that Dryopithecus may have been more a dedicated frugivore,‭ ‬a specialist herbivore that eats mainly fruit rather than other plant parts such as leaves and stems.
       Dryopithecus is thought to have spent much of its time living in the tree canopy where it moved about by swinging from branch to branch,‭ ‬a form of locomotion called brachiation.‭ ‬When walking however,‭ ‬Dryopithecus is thought to have walked in a quadrupedal posture similar to that of a chimpanzee,‭ ‬but instead of walking on its knuckles it is thought that it walked upon the flats of its hands due to morphological differences in the limbs and wrists between Dryopithecus and chimpanzees.
       Another primate that is sometimes considered to be similar to Dryopithecus is Oreopithecus.


Random favourites