Lufengpithecus :: overview

Lufengpithecus lufengensis is a fossil ape from China, dating to the latest Miocene and Pliocene. A single mandible from the site of Longgupo argues that Lufengpithecus may have survived until as recently as a million years ago, possibly overlapping with both Gigantopithecus and ancient Pongo in the region (Crummett et al. 2000). Like Sivapithecus, Lufengpithecus has thick molar enamel and it also has relatively low canine teeth, especially in females. The lower third premolars sometimes have a slight second cusp, denoting a shift from their principal role as cutting teeth in other ape species. </p>

A related species from Thailand, Lufengpithecus chiangmuanensis, has recently been uncovered. This species is known only from teeth, but these appear to be intermediate in morphology between Sivapithecus and recent orangutans. At 10 million years old, the fossils may be ancestral to later Pongo (Chaimanee et al. 2003).

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