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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Oct 14;94(21):11747-50.

Ape-like or hominid-like? The positional behavior of Oreopithecus bambolii reconsidered.

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  • 1Institut de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, c/Industrial, 23, 08201 Sabadell, Spain.


Comparative morphological and functional analyses of the skeletal remains of Oreopithecus bambolii, a hominoid from the Miocene Mediterranean island of Tuscany-Sardinia (Italy), provides evidence that bipedal activities made up a significant part of the positional behavior of this primate. The mosaic pattern of its postcranial morphology is to some degree convergent with that of Australopithecus and functionally intermediate between apes and early hominids. Some unique traits could have been selected only under insular conditions where the absence of predators and the limitation of trophic resources play a crucial role in mammalian evolution.

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