Named By: de Bonis and Melentis - 1977.
Synonyms: Graecopithecus freybergi, Sivapithecus macedoniensis.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Primates, Hominidae.
Species: O. macedoniensis, O. freybergi.
Known locations: Greece.
Time period: Tortonian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Few specimens.
is often considered to be a dryopithecine ape (similar to
however there are others who consider Ouranopithecus
to be a member of the Ponginae (orangutan-like apes). Usually
however Ouranopithecus is placed within the
Hominidae due to the shape
and form of the sinuses, although it may also be a late surviving
ancestor of apes and humans.
Ouranopithecus had low molar teeth which had a thick covering of enamel. In depth analysis of the teeth has led palaeontologists to conclude that Ouranopithecus had diet heavy in hard foods items such as nuts and/or tubers. Like with most primates, the teeth exhibit clear signs of sexual dimorphism with males have much larger canine teeth than females.