Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

A new specimen of Ankarapithecus meteai from the Sinap Formation of central Anatolia

Abstract

HOMINOID fossils from the Middle and Late Miocene are exceedingly rare, yet such material is necessary for determining homi-noid phylogeny. We report here the discovery of a fossil hominoid partial skull from the Upper Miocene Sinap Formation1,2 of central Turkey that is the most complete known from the period of 18 to 3 Myr. Our fieldwork places the hominoid locality within a precisely dated geochronological and biostratigraphical framework3 that permits detailed comparisons with other fossil hominoids. Earlier discoveries of more fragmentary remains of Ankarapithecus meteai suggested affinities with the Asian hominoids Sivapithecus and Pongo4. This new and nearly complete specimen reveals a combination of facial, mandibular, and dental features including a relatively narrow interorbital region, extensive frontal and maxillary sinuses, moderately developed supraorbital tori, square orbits, robust mandibular corpus, and incisor heteromorphy that is not matched in any extant or fossil hominoid. This configuration of features seems to support its placement as a stem member of the great ape and human clade.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Alpagut, B. & Martin, L. Arastırma Sonucları Toplantısı VIII, 55–67 (1989).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Alpagut, B., Fortelius, M. & Kappelman, J. Arastırma Sonucları Toplantısı XII, 177–199 (1993).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Kappelman, J. et al. in Evolution of Western Eurasian Later Neogene Mammal Faunas (eds Bernor, R., Fahlbusch, V. & Mittman, H.-W.) (Columbia Univ. Press, in the press).

  4. 4

    Andrews, P. & Tekkaya, I. Palaeontology 23, 85–95 (1980).

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Ozansoy, F. Bull. Miner. Res. Explor. Inst., Ankara 49, 29–48 (1957).

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Ozansoy, F. C. r. hebd. Séanc. Acad. Sci., Paris 240, 992–994 (1955).

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Cande, S. C. & Kent, D. V. J. geophys. Res. 100, 6093–6095 (1995).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Bonis, de L., Bouvrain, G., Geraads, D. & Koufos, G. Nature 345, 712–714 (1990).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Agusti, J. et al. J. hum. Evol. 31, 143–155 (1996).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Barry, J. C. in Primate Evolution (eds Else, J. G. & Lee, P. C.) 93–106 (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1986).

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Kappelman, J. et al. J. hum. Evol. 21, 61–73 (1991).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Simons, E. L. & Pilbeam, D. R. Folia Primatol. 3, 81–152 (1965).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Szalay, F. & Delson, E. Evolutionary History of the Primates (Academic, New York, 1979).

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Begun, D. R. & Gülec, E. Am. J. phys. Anthrop. Suppl. 20, 63–64 (1995)

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Kelley, J. et al. J. hum. Evol. 28, 503–517 (1995).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Moyà-Solà, S. & Köhler, M. J. hum. Evol. 29, 101–139 (1995).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Coolidge, H. J. Jr. Am. J. phys. Anthrop. 18, 1–59 (1933).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Cave, A. J. E. & Haines, R. W. J. Anat. 72, 493–523 (1940).

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Ward, S. C. & Brown, B. in Comparative Primate Biology Vol. 1: Systematics, Evolution, and Anatomy (eds Swindler, D. R. & Erwin, J.) 413–452 (Liss, New York, 1986).

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Moyà-Solà, S. & Köhler, M. Nature 365, 543–545 (1993).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Andrews, P. & Cronin, J. E. Nature 297, 541–546 (1982).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Ward, S. C. & Pilbeam, D. R. in New Interpretations of Ape and Human Ancestry (eds Ciochon, R. L. & Corruccini, R. S.) 211–238 (Plenum, New York, 1983).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    Bonis, de L. & Koufos, G. D. J. hum. Evol. 24, 469–491 (1993).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24

    Begun, D. R. J. hum. Evol. 29, 169–180 (1995).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25

    Martin, L. Nature 314, 260–263 (1985).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26

    Begun, D. R. & Kordos, J. hum. Evol. 25, 271–285 (1995).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27

    Bonis, L. de & Melentis, J. Geobios 10, 849–885 (1977).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28

    Brown, B. & Ward, S. C. in Orang Utan Biology (ed. Schwartz, J. H.) 247–260 (Oxford Univ. Press, New York, 1988).

    Google Scholar 

  29. 29

    Shea, B. T. Am. J. phys. Anthrop. 68, 329–342 (1985).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30

    Moyà-Solà, S. & Köhle, M. Nature 379, 156–159 (1996).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Alpagut, B., Andrews, P., Fortelius, M. et al. A new specimen of Ankarapithecus meteai from the Sinap Formation of central Anatolia. Nature 382, 349–351 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1038/382349a0

Download citation

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing