First record of the Miocene hominoid Sivapithecus from Kutch, Gujarat state, western India.

Abstract

Hominoid remains from Miocene deposits in India and Pakistan have played a pivotal role in understanding the evolution of great apes and humans since they were first described in the 19th Century. We describe here a hominoid maxillary fragment preserving the canine and cheek teeth collected in 2011 from the Kutch (= Kachchh) basin in the Kutch district, Gujarat state, western India. A basal Late Miocene age is proposed based on the associated faunal assemblage that includes Hipparion and other age-diagnostic mammalian taxa. Miocene Hominoidea are known previously from several areas of the Siwalik Group in the outer western Himalayas of India, Pakistan, and Nepal. This is the first record of a hominoid from the Neogene of the Kutch Basin and represents a significant southern range extension of Miocene hominoids in the Indian peninsula. The specimen is assigned to the Genus Sivapithecus, species unspecified.

Department

Description

Provenance

Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1371/journal.pone.0206314

Publication Info

Bhandari, Ansuya, Richard F Kay, Blythe A Williams, Brahma Nand Tiwari, Sunil Bajpai and Tobin Hieronymus (2018). First record of the Miocene hominoid Sivapithecus from Kutch, Gujarat state, western India. PloS one, 13(11). p. e0206314. 10.1371/journal.pone.0206314 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21372.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.

Scholars@Duke

Kay

Richard Frederick Kay

Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology

I have two areas of research:1) the evolution of primates in South America; and 2) the use of primate anatomy to reconstruct the phylogenetic history and adapations of living and extinct primates, especially Anthropoidea.

1) Evolution of primates and mammalian faunal evolution, especially in South America. For the past 30 years, I have been engaged in research in Argentina, Bolivia The Dominican Republic, Peru, and Colombia with three objectives:a) to reconstruct the evolutionary history and adaptive patterns of South America primates and other mammals; b) to establish a more precise geologic chronology for the mammalian faunas between the late Eocene and middle Miocene (between about 36 and about 15 million years ago); and c) to use anatomy and niche structure of modern mammals as a means to reconstruct the evolution of mammalian niche structure in the Neotropics.

2) Primate Anatomy. I am working to reconstruct the phylogeny of primates based (principally) on anatomical evidence; and to infer the adaptations of extinct primates based mainly on cranial and dental evidence.

Field activities
Current fieldwork is focused on the study of terrestrial biotic change in Patagonia through the 'mid-Miocene Climate Optimum' when global climate was moderate and the subtropical zone, with primates and other typically tropical vertebrates, extended their ranges up to 55 degrees of South latitude.

In this collaborative research undertaking with colleagues at University of Washington and Boise State University, the geochronology of the Santa Cruz Formation at in extreme southern Argentina is being refined using radiometric dating. Stratigraphically-controlled collections have been made of vertebrates and plant macro- and microfossils. Climate change and its impact on the biota is assessed 1) using biogeochemical analysis of stable isotopes in fossil mammalian tooth enamel; 2) by documenting changes in mammalian community structure (richness, origination and extinction rates, and ecological morphology); and 3) by documenting changes in vegetation and floral composition through the study of phytoliths. These three independent lines of evidence in a refined geochronologic framework will then be compared with similar evidence from continental sequences in the Northern Hemisphere and oceanic climatic records to improve our understanding of the timing and character of climatic change in continental high latitudes during this temporal interval.

A second field project project in its early stages is the study of the fossil vertebrates of the Amazon Basin. The latter is a collaborative effort of biologists and geologists across schools at Duke (Nicholas School) and among six North American universities. My role is to direct the vertebrate paleontology component of this project in Brazil and Amazonian Peru. The hope is to recover primates from the Oligocene through Early Miocene. New material will shed light on the phylogenetic status of African Paleogene anthropoids, one of which may be the platyrrhine sister-taxon. Also, new remains of fossil primates will help to refine hypotheses about the origins of the modern families and subfamilies of platyrrhines, all of which trace back to an Early Miocene (17-21 Ma) common ancestor. Finally, new fossil primates may further constrain the time of entry of platyrrhines into South America.

Williams

Blythe A. Williams

Associate Professor of the Practice Emerita of Evolutionary Anthropology

My research has focused on the evolutionary relationships (phylogenetics) and ecological adaptations of Primates from a paleontological perspective.  I’m also interested in the evolutionary history of human dance.  My current teaching includes Dance Science, Ethics in Evolutionary Anthropology, and Becoming Human.


Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.