First partial face and upper dentition of the Middle Miocene hominoid Dryopithecus fontani from Abocador de Can Mata (Vallès-Penedès Basin, Catalonia, NE Spain): Taxonomic and phylogenetic implications

Authors

  • Salvador Moyà-Solà,

    Corresponding author
    1. ICREA, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra s/n 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès,Barcelona, Spain
    2. Institut Català de Paleontologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Edifici ICP, Campus de Bellaterra s/n 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
    3. Unitat d'Antropologia Biològica (Departament BABVE), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra s/n 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
    • ICREA, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra s/n 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Meike Köhler,

    1. ICREA, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra s/n 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès,Barcelona, Spain
    2. Institut Català de Paleontologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Edifici ICP, Campus de Bellaterra s/n 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
    3. Unitat d'Antropologia Biològica (Departament BABVE), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra s/n 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
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  • David M. Alba,

    1. Unitat d'Antropologia Biològica (Departament BABVE), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra s/n 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
    Current affiliation:
    1. Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Universitádegli Studi di Firenze, Via G. La Pira, 50121 Firenze, Italy
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  • Isaac Casanovas-Vilar,

    1. Institut Català de Paleontologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Edifici ICP, Campus de Bellaterra s/n 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Jordi Galindo,

    1. Institut Català de Paleontologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Edifici ICP, Campus de Bellaterra s/n 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Josep M. Robles,

    1. PALAEOTHERIA, S.C.P. Provençals 5, 2on 1a, 08019 Barcelona, Spain
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  • Lluís Cabrera,

    1. Geomodels Group of Geodynamics and Basin Analysis, Facultat de Geologia, Universitat de Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
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  • Miguel Garcés,

    1. Geomodels Group of Geodynamics and Basin Analysis, Facultat de Geologia, Universitat de Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
    2. Paleomagnetic laboratori UB-CSIC, Institut de Ciències de la Terra 〈〈Jaume Almera〉〉 Solé i Sabarís s/n, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
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  • Sergi Almécija,

    1. Institut Català de Paleontologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Edifici ICP, Campus de Bellaterra s/n 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Elisabet Beamud

    1. Geomodels Group of Geodynamics and Basin Analysis, Facultat de Geologia, Universitat de Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
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Abstract

A well-preserved 11.8-million-years-old lower face attributed to the seminal taxon Dryopithecus fontani (Primates, Hominidae) from the Catalan site ACM/C3-Ae of the Hostalets de Pierola area (Vallès-Penedès Basin, Catalonia, NE Spain) is described. The new data indicate that D. fontani is distinct at the genus level from Late Miocene European taxa previously attributed to Dryopithecus, which are here reassigned to Hispanopithecus. The new facial specimen also suggests that D. fontani and the Middle Miocene Pierolapithecus catalaunicus are not synonymous. Anatomical and morphometric analyses further indicate that the new specimen shows a combination of lower facial features—hitherto unknown in Miocene hominoids—that resembles the facial pattern of Gorilla, thus providing the first nondental evidence of gorilla-like lower facial morphology in the fossil record. Considering the current evidence, the gorilla-like facial pattern of D. fontani is inferred to be derived relative to previously known stem hominids, and might indicate that this taxon is either an early member of the Homininae or, alternatively, a stem hominid convergent with the lower facial pattern of Gorilla. The biogeographic implications of both alternatives are discussed. This new finding in the Hostalets de Pierola section reinforces the importance of this area for understanding the elusive question of the Middle Miocene origin and early radiation of great apes. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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