Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nature. 1996 Jan 11;379(6561):156-9.

A Dryopithecus skeleton and the origins of great-ape locomotion.

Author information

  • 1Institut de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Sabadell, Spain.


The evolution of skeletal adaptations to orthograde postures, characteristic of extant hominoids, is of great interest as it provides the key to understanding the origins of apes and humans. We report here the recent discovery of an extraordinary partial skeleton of Dryopithecus laietanus from Can Llobateres (Spain). It provides evidence that orthograde postures and locomotion appeared at least 9.5 million years ago. Our results indicate that the body structure of this Miocene ape closely resembles that of extant hominoids and differs from the pronograde pattern of Miocene proconsulids in a set of important morphological characters. Dryopithecus also shows more traits reflecting structural adaptations for suspension than occurs in African apes. A similar positional behaviour is inferred for Sivapithecus indicus, thus strengthening previous hypotheses linking both Miocene forms with Pongo.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Support Center