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J Hum Evol. 2002 Jan-Feb;42(1-2):75-93.

New cercopithecoids and a hominoid from 12.5 Ma in the Tugen Hills succession, Kenya.

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Department of Anthropology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


The early evolutionary history of the cercopithecoids is poorly understood, primarily due to a lack of fossil material from between 15 and about 9 Ma. Cercopithecoid primate specimens from a fossil site in the Ngorora Formation of the Tugen Hills, Kenya, belong to the genus Victoriapithecus, possibly a new species. These fossils are associated with a hominoid specimen that resembles Proconsul, and another tooth of a catarrhine, also probably hominoid. The locality is BPRP#38, in the Kabasero type section of the Ngorora Formation, and well dated at 12.5 Ma. If the hominoid specimen is confirmed as Proconsul, it would be one of the most recent recorded. The relatively diverse mammal fauna from the site in some ways resembles that of Fort Ternan. The site is underlain, and not far removed in time, from one of the best fossil macro-floras in Africa, which indicates lowland rainforest conditions in this portion of the Rift Valley at 12.6 Ma.

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