New hominoid facial skeleton from the Early Miocene of Rusinga Island, Kenya, and its bearing on the relationship between Proconsul nyanzae and Proconsul africanus

Mark F. Teaford, K. Christopher Beard, Richard E. Leakey, Alan Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent paleontological fieldwork has led to the discovery of a plate and partial face of a young adult male Proconsul on Rusinga Island, Kenya. Morphologically, it is most similar to Proconsul nyanzae. However, it is intermediate in size between Proconsul nyanzae and Proconsul africanus. Since the distinction between these two species, not to mention the relationship between Proconsul from Rusinga and other sites, is not as clear as it once was, this specimen will undoubtedly add further fuel to the fire of discussions and debates concerning early Miocene hominoid taxonomy. In particular, it shows that we have relied far too heavily on limited samples of cranio-dental material in making our taxonomic assignments and distinctions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-477
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1988



  • hominoid
  • maxilla
  • Miocene
  • Proconsul
  • taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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