Taxonomic Implications of Sexual Dimorphism in Lufengpithecus

  • Jay Kelley
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


Sexual dimorphism frequently complicates the determination of species numbers in fossil samples. This has been particularly true for anthropoid primates, among whose living members are some of the most highly size dimorphic extant terrestrial mammals (Jüngers and Susman, 1984; Markham and Groves, 1990). A number of Miocene hominoid fossil assemblages have been interpreted as sampling a single large-bodied species displaying substantial body-size dimorphism, usually inferred from apparently very high levels of dental dimorphism, since most hominoid samples preserve few or no postcranial remains. These include sites from the early (Songhor, Koru, Rusinga), middle (Maboko, Ft. Ternan, Nachola, Paşalar), and late (Siwaliks, Lufeng, Rudabanya, Ravin de la Pluie) Miocene (de Bonis, 1983, 1984; Kelley and Pilbeam, 1986; Kelley, 1986a,b; Pickford, 1985, 1986a,b; Wu and Wang, 1987; Kelley and Etler, 1989). In the case of at least one species, from the early Miocene site of Rusinga in Kenya, it has been suggested that dental and body-size dimorphism were perhaps greater than in any living anthropoid (Kelley and Pilbeam, 1986; Kelley, 1986a; Pick-ford, 1986a).


Sexual Dimorphism Late Miocene Tooth Size Anthropoid Primate Extant Primate 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay Kelley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oral Biology, College of DentistryThe University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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