Kenyapithecus

Name: Kenyapithecus ‭(‬Kenya ape‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ken/Keen-ya-pif-e-kus‭ (‬Depending upon how you pronounce Kenya‭)‬.
Named By: Louis Leakey‭ ‬-‭ ‬1961.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Primates,‭ ‬Hominoidea,‭ ‬Hominidae.
Species: K.‭ ‬wickeri‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Unavailable.
Known locations: Kenya.
Time period: Langhian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: ‭M‬any specimens,‭ ‬mostly of teeth and jaw fragments.

       Kenyapithecus is especially noted amongst palaeoprimatologists for being one of the first primates to develop thick tooth enamel.‭ ‬However the title for oldest primate with thick tooth enamel now goes to Afropithecus.‭ ‬The thick enamel of the teeth points to a specialisation towards eating tougher vegetation rather than the softer leaves and fruits that‭ ‬earlier monkeys usually fed upon.‭ ‬This idea is also supported by the presence‭ ‬of larger premolar teeth and the development of a much more robust lower jaw.‭ ‬Kenyapithecus is also still sometimes regarded as being one of the earliest ancestors of the great apes.
       There was once another species of Kenyapithecus called K.‭ ‬africanus,‭ ‬however the fossils that this species were described from were later moved over to Dryoptihecus and then later still over to Proconsul nyanzae.



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