Named By: D. L. Gebo, L. MacLatchy, R. Kityo, A. Deino, J. Kingston & D. Pilbeam - 1997.
Classification: Chordata, Mamamlia, Primates, Hominoidea.
Species: M. bishopi (type).
Known locations: Uganda, Moroto.
Time period: Aquitanian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Partial remains including teeth and vertebrae.
discovery of Morotopithecus has necessitated a
rethink in our
understanding of primate and ape evolution. The confusion here all
stems down to the fact that fossils of Morotopithecus
indicate that it
was more advanced than forms such as Afropithecus
and yet it appeared well before these other genera in the early
Miocene. Morotopithecus is also considered to be
more advanced than
although there are remains of this genus from slightly
earlier times than Morotopithecus, even though
Proconsul is generally
considered to not be an ancestor to apes anymore. Morotopithecus
might be part of a sister group to the great apes, although at this
time much more study, hopefully fuelled by new fossil discoveries,
needs to take place to allow for a much greater insight into the
Comparison between the teeth of Morotopithecus and Afropithecus has led to identification into similarities between the two as well as light speculation that they may be the same. However the majority of other palaeoprimatologists continue to regard Morotopithecus as a distinct genus at this time, due mainly to fact that it is currently impossible to do a complete comparison between multiple body features.
- A hominoid genus from the early Miocene of Uganda. - Science 276:401-404. - D. L. Gebo, L. MacLatchy, R. Kityo, A. Deino, J. Kingston & D. Pilbeam - 1997.