Name: Sivapithecus ‭(‬Siva ape‭)‬.
Phonetic: See-vah-pif-e-kus.
Named By: Pilgrim‭ ‬-‭ ‬1910.
Synonyms: Ankarapithecus,‭ ‬Palaeopithecus sivalensis,‭ ‬Ramapithecus.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Primates,‭ ‬Hominidae,‭ ‬Ponginae.
Species: S.‭ ‬indicus‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬meteai,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬parvada,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬punjabicus,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬sivalensis.‭ *‬Note‭ ‬-‭ ‬There is occasional differences in the number of species mentioned between sources.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: 1.5‭ ‬meters tall when bipedal.
Known locations: China,‭ ‬India,‭ ‬Nepal,‭ ‬Pakistan‭ &‬ Turkey.
Time period: Serravallian to Messinian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Partial,‭ ‬fragmented remains of numerous individuals.

       Although best known from the Sivalik Hills,‭ ‬Sivapithecus seems to have had a much broader geographical distribution.‭ ‬This is in part down to fossils of other genera such as Ankarapithecus and Palaeopithecus being reassigned to Sivapithecus.‭ ‬One genus in particular called Ramapithecus was previously heralded as an ancestor of humans,‭ ‬but as more and more fossils were found it became‭ ‬clear to palaeontologists,‭ ‬anthropologists and primatologists that it was almost identical to Sivapithecus.‭ ‬The only real difference between the remains is that fossils originally assigned as Ramapithecus are smaller,‭ ‬possibly because of sexual dimorphism with them‭ ‬being females,‭ ‬although ideas it being a smaller species of Sivapithecus have also been considered.
       Despite the history associated with Ramapithecus that is now widely considered a synonym to this genus,‭ ‬Sivapithecus was not an ancestor of modern humans.‭ ‬Instead it’s more likely that Sivapithecus was an ancestor to the orangutan,‭ ‬although some parts if the body appear to be more chimpanzee-like.‭ ‬The body proportions and particularly the form of the wrists lend string support to the idea that Sivapithecus spent a greater amount of time on the ground than in the trees.‭ ‬Despite this,‭ ‬skull remains and subsequent reconstructions based upon these have revealed that Sivapithecus was much more orangutan-like in its facial appearance.‭ ‬There is also a real possibility that aside from being an ancestor to modern orangutans,‭ ‬Sivapithecus was also related to the giant ape Gigantopithecus,‭ ‬the larger species of which were easily double the size of Sivapithecus.
       Like with Gigantopithecus,‭ ‬Sivapithecus is thought to have primarily eaten tough vegetation some that is evidenced by the large molar and canine teeth.‭ ‬However there is also some fossil evidence that Sivapithecus would also take fruits,‭ ‬so it’s probable that exact diet may have‭ ‬depended upon what was both annually and seasonally available in the ecosystem.

Further reading
- Sivapithecus simonsi, a New Species of Miocene Hominoid, with Comments on the Phylogenetic Status of the Ramapithecinae. - International Journal of Primatotology 3(2):113-173. - R. F. kay - 1982.
- First record of the Miocene hominoid Sivapithecus from Kutch, Gujarat state, western India. - PLOS ONE. 13 (11): e0206314. - Ansuya Bhandari, Richard F. Kay, Blythe A. Williams, Brahma Nand Tiwari, Sunil Bajpai & Tobin Hieronymus, (Charles, Cyril-ed.) - 2018.


Random favourites