|Named By:||Hidemi Ishida and Martin Pickford in 1997|
|Time Period:||late Miocene|
|Size:||Weight estimated to be around 60 kilograms|
|Fossil(s):||Teeth and Maxilla|
|Classification:||| Chordata | Mammalia | Primates | Hominoidea | Hominidae ||
Samburupithecus is an extinct primate that lived in Kenya during the middle to late Miocene. The one species in this genus, Samburupithecus kiptalami, is known only from a maxilla fragment dated to 9.5 million years ago discovered in 1982 and formally described by Ishida & Pickford 1997. The type specimen KNM-SH 8531 was discovered by the Joint Japan-Kenya Expedition at the SH22 fossil site in the Samburu District, a locality where several other researchers found no ape fossils.
Samburupithecus lived during the so-called "African ape gap" 14 to 7 Ma, a period from which very few hominoid fossils have been found in Africa until relatively recently. This apparent gap, however, is now populated by a diversity of apes such as Nakalipithecus, Chororapithecus abyssinicus, Otavipithecus, and Nacholapithecus.