Pliopithecus: One of the earliest proto-apes, Pliopithecus had the look of a modern gibbon although its arms were not as disproportionately long and specialized for swinging through the trees. On the basis of its teeth and skull it is now classed as an ancestor of the gibbon line.
Oreopithecus: A likely sidebranch on man's family tree, Oreopithecus is believed t ohave stood around four feet tall and weighed about 80 pounds. Its teeth and pelvis led scientists to wonder if it could be ancestral to man, but apparently it became extinct some 8 million years ago.
Dryopithecus: Though its skeleton is tantalizingly incomplete, Dryopithecus can be fairly described from a few jaws and teeth. First of the fossil great apes to be discovered, it was widely distributed; remains have been unearthed throughout Europe, in North India and China.
Proconsul: Known from numerous fragments adding up to almost complete skeletons, Proconsul is considered to be a very early ape, the ancestor of the chimpanzee and perhaps of the gorilla. A contemporary of Pliopithecus, it is often found with it in the same fossil site.
Ramapithecus: The easliest manlike primate found so far, Ramapithecus is now thought by some experts to be the oldest of man's ancestors in a direct line. This hominid status is predicated upon a few teeth, some fragments of jaw and a palate unmistakably human in shape.
Australopithecine sites. The African sites which have yielded fossilized remains of Australopithecus, popularly known as ape-men, near-men, or half-men. The three northern sites are in the Republic of Tanzania; the five southern sites are in the Republic of South Africa.
Homo habilis type specimen. Left lateral view of the dental arcade and body of the mandible of the type specimen of the new Olduvai hominine, Homo habilis. In this juvenile specimen, only the first two molars have erupted. The "enamel line" on each tooth is clearly defined; areas of hypoplastic enamel are well shown on the canine tooth.
Peninj jaw. Two views of the lower jawbone and teeth of a large-toothed australopithecine from Peninj, next to Lake Natron, some 80 km northeast of Olduvai Gorge. The very small front teeth (incisors and canines) and very large cheek teeth (premolars and molars) characteristic of the robust australopithecine are well shown. This mandible represents a Middle Pleistocene survivor of the African australopithecines, probably a late member of the Olduva
Buccolingual breadths (in millimeters) of the maxiliary (left) and mandibular (right) teeth of A. africanus and H. erectus. The cheek teeth (from P3 to M3) of the australopithecines are characteristically broadened, as contrasted with those of the hominines, represented here by Homo erectus.
Crown areas and length/breadth index. Ranges of size and shape of mandibular teeth in the H. habilis from Bed I and the hominine from lower Bed II compared with those of Australopithecus africanus. Left: crown areas (mm sq.). Right: the length of the tooth expressed as a percentage of the breadth. The cheek teeth (premolars and molars) of the hominines have higher indices because they are elongated and lack the characteristic australopithecine bro
Australopithecus and Paranthropus. Australopithecus: Ramapithecus and this early form of Australopithecus, the first certain hominid, are seperated by a gap of nine million years. In this time, the prehumans made great advances - they walked upright, lived on the ground and may have used stones in their defense; Paranthropus: though he stood erect and had hominid features, Paranthropus represents an evolutionary dead end in man's ancestry. A vegeta