Morotopithecus :: overview

The site of Moroto, in Uganda, has produced a few ape fossils dating to around 20 million years ago, including a large palate and partial face. The palate is approximately the size of a female gorilla, and postcranial bones including vertebral and femoral portions estimate a mass of around 50 kg, about the size of the largest Proconsul species. The preserved lumbar vertebra indicates that the lower spine was short and relatively inflexible, as in living apes, and may indicate a much greater degree of vertical climbing ability than in Proconsul (Gebo et al. 1997). This vertebral evidence may represent the earliest locomotor adaptation that was fundamentally like living apes, and unlike the quadrupedal ancestral hominoids such as Proconsul.

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