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J Hum Evol. 2002 Jun;42(6):705-52.

New Sivapithecus postcranial specimens from the Siwaliks of Pakistan.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio, 44234, U.S.A. madarsi@hiram.edu

Erratum in

  • J Hum Evol 2002 Nov;43(5):771-2.


Several new postcranial elements of Sivapithecus from the Siwaliks of Pakistan are described. These include a distal femur from the U-level of the Dhok Pathan Formation, a navicular from the Chinji Formation, and seven manual and pedal phalanges from the Nagri Formation. The functional morphology of these elements adds new detail to the reconstruction of Sivapithecus positional behavior. Femoral cross-sectional geometry indicates that the shaft was adapted to support mediolaterally directed loading. Femoral condylar asymmetry and a broad but shallow trochlea are distinctly ape-like, revealing capabilities for both rotation and withstanding eccentric loading in the knee. The navicular is characterized by features relating to a broad mid-tarsus and broad distal articulations for the cuneiforms. It also lacks a navicular tubercle as in Pongo. These features suggest that the foot was capable of a powerful grip on large supports, with an inversion/supination capability that would permit foot placement in a variety of positions. The morphology of the new phalanges, including evidence for a relatively large pollex, similarly suggests powerful grasping, consistent with prior evidence from the hallux and tarsus. The functional features of the new specimens permit refinement of previous interpretations of Sivapithecus positional capabilities. They suggest a locomotor repertoire dominated by pronograde activities and also such antipronograde activities as vertical climbing and clambering, but not by antipronograde suspensory activities as practiced by extant apes.

Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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