A reassessment of the taxonomic status and phyletic relationships of Papio baringensis and Papio quadratirostris (Primates: Cercopithecidae)

Gerald G. Eck, Nina G. Jablonski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Comparison of the skulls of Papio baringensis Leakey 1969 from the Chemeron Formation and P. quadratirostris Iwamoto 1982 from the Usno Formation with those of Theropithecus gelada, T. brumpti, T. darti, T. oswaldi, and several species of Papio indicate that the species from Chemeron and Usno exhibit all, or most, respectively, of the shared derived characters of Theropithecus. We propose that they be removed from Papio and placed in Theropithecus as T. baringensis and T. quadratirostris. Comparison of the specimens of T. baringensis and T. quadratirostris with those of T. brumpti indicate that the former two species have some of the derived characters of T. brumpti but are primitive in others. We propose that the three species form the following phyletic lineage: T. baringensis‐T. quadratirostris‐T. brumpti. With these referrals, there are now six species of the genus Theropithecus. Based on geologic grounds, the specimens from Chemeron are about 4.0 million years (m.y.), that from Usno between 3.3 and 3.4 m.y., and those of T. brumpti between 2.0 and 2.8 m.y. in age. We also show that the most complete specimen of Papio sp. nov. from Olduval Gorge belongs to T. oswaldi. With the removal of these specimens from Papio, the East African fossil record of this genus, apart from isolated teeth, comprises only 21 specimens, while that of Theropithecus comprises at least 300 specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-134
Number of pages26
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume65
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology

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