David Alba is a Ramón y Cajal researcher at the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, specializing in fossil primates and other vertebrates from the Spanish Miocene. His main research topics include taxonomy, paleobiology, and phylogeny. He also coordinates paleontological fieldwork at Abocador de Can Mata and leads excavations at Can Llobateres.
Fossil apes from the vallès-penedès basin
Article first published online: 19 DEC 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews
Volume 21, Issue 6, pages 254–269, November/December 2012
How to Cite
Alba, D. M. (2012), Fossil apes from the vallès-penedès basin. Evol. Anthropol., 21: 254–269. doi: 10.1002/evan.21312
- Issue published online: 19 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 19 DEC 2012
- Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. Grant Numbers: CGL2011-28681, RYC-2009-04533
- Generalitat de Catalunya. Grant Number: 2009 SGR 754 GRC
- great apes
Currently restricted to Southeast Asia and Africa, extant hominoids are the remnants of a group that was much more diverse during the Miocene. Apes initially diversified in Africa during the early Miocene, but by the middle Miocene they extended their geographical range into Eurasia, where they experienced an impressive evolutionary radiation. Understanding the role of Eurasian hominoids in the origin and evolution of the great-ape-and-human clade (Hominidae) is partly hampered by phylogenetic uncertainties, the scarcity and incompleteness of fossil remains, the current restricted diversity of the group, and pervasive homoplasy. Nevertheless, scientific knowledge of the Eurasian hominoid radiation has significantly improved during the last decade. In the case of Western Europe, this has been due to the discovery of new remains from the Vallès-Penedès Basin (Catalonia, Spain). Here, I review the fossil record of Vallès-Penedès apes and consider its implications. Although significant disagreements persist among scholars, some important lessons can be learned regarding the evolutionary history of the closest living relatives of humans. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.