Morotopithecus bishopi

Morotopithecus bishopi
• Gebo, et al., 1997
• UMP 62-11, palate
•15 MYA
• Moroto and eastern Uganda
Morotopithecus was one of the largest hominoids of this era. Postcranial remains suggest a body weight of approximately 77 pounds with dental estimates lying in the size range of Proconsul (Hartwig). The halotype is identified as being a set of upper canines, P3, vertebral, femoral and scapular fragments. According to Hartwig, “Cranial reconstruction shows that Morotopithecus displayed a long, high, narrow face and nostrils with a relatively narrow interorbital region. Their palate is broad with a relatively short premaxilla and a large diastema. Comparisons of both female and male dental remains suggest extreme sexual dimorphism within the species. The lone female canine is only 56% as big as that of the males, exhibiting a greater degree of sexual dimorphism than modern gorillas.” Recovered femoral fragments show a greater ratio of cortical to perostial bone, a trait seen in humans and orangutans (Gebo, et al.). Scapular and vertebral remains suggest that Morotopithecus possessed the short, stiff back and suspensory shoulder anatomy of modern brachiators (Stanford). According to Gebo, et al., “Moroto material remains suggest an arboreal primate locomoting by means of moderate brachiation and quadrupedalism, and utilized an arm-hanging posture. Morotpithecus represents the earliest evidence for a significantly apelike body plan in the primate fossil record.”