Home Previous Random Next Search
meaning: "Pliocene ape/More ape"
Named By: Paul Gervais in 1849
Time Period: Miocene
Location: Across Europe
Size: Around 1 to 1.2 meters tall
Diet: Herbivore
Fossil(s): Many specimens but usually of fragmentary remains
Classification: | Chordata | Mammaila | Primates | Simiiformes | Catarrhini | Pliopithecoidea | Pliopithecidae | Pliopithecinae |

Pliopithecus is a genus of extinct primates of the Miocene. It was discovered in 1837 by Edouard Lartet (1801-1871) in France, with fossils subsequently discovered in Switzerland, Slovakia and Spain.

Pliopithecus' had a similar size and form to modern gibbons, to which it may be related, although it is probably not a direct ancestor. It had long limbs, hands, and feet, and may have been able to brachiate, swinging between trees using its arms. Unlike gibbons, it had a short tail, and only partial stereoscopic vision.#

They appear to have originated in Asia and extended their range into Europe between 17 and 13 million years ago.

Begun and Harrison list the following species within the genus - Pliopithecus antiquus, Pliopithecus bii, Pliopithecus canmatensis, Pliopithecus platyodon, Pliopithecus vindobonensis, and Pliopithecus zhanxiangi. Pliopithecus antiquus has been referred to previously as Pliopithecus piveteaui.

vindobonensis is sometimes considered to be a separate genus, Epipliopithecus.

Anapithecus is a close relative and was initially considered a subgenus of Pliopithecus.

Read more about Pliopithecus at Wikipedia
PaleoCodex is a weekend hack by Saurav Mohapatra