This may not be much when compared to the millions of years in the past that dinosaurs lived, but considering that this is a genus of hominid it is really amazing. Find out all about this prehistoric primate! The Proconsul resemble other subordinates much more than the apes. It is a fascinating genus of primates that due to natural reasons are already extinct, although we can still enjoy their cousins. Photo: Don Hitchcock 2013 Proconsul africanus is the first species of the oligocene-era fossil genus of primate to be discovered and was named by Arthur Hopwood, an associate of Louis Leakey, in 1933. Proconsul is therefore "ancestral to the Chimpanzee" in Hopwood's words. Environmental reconstructions for the Early Miocene Proconsul sites are still tentative and range from forested environments to more open, arid grasslands. The history of hominoid classification in the second half of the 20th century is sufficiently complex to warrant a few books itself. This species is one of the better represented early Hominid species due to the numerous specimens that have been excavated. And that’s because within the characteristics that they have is their great capacity to grasp. Its name, meaning "before Consul" (Consul being a certain chimpanzee that, at the time of the genus's discovery, was on display in London), implies that it is ancestral to the chimpanzee, which if true would also make it ancestral to the rest of the apes. In any case, there is no need to consider the possibility of finding other species in the future. Proconsul c. Carpolestes d. Eosimias. What sets apes apart from their peers is the absence of a tail. Specifications: Photo: © National Geographic, Jason Treat, NGM staff Here, a montage of the skeleton and a lifelike reconstruction of a young female are shown. In this page we are used to talk about dinosaurs, which we usually talk about in millions of years ago. They had a mixture of Old World monkey and ape characteristics, so their placement in the ape superfamily Hominoidea is tentative, with some scientists placing Proconsul outside it, before the split of the apes and Old World monkeys. Family: Fossil Hominidae Permission: GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2, Proconsul africanus Kingdom Animalia > Filo Chordata > Mammalia Class > Order Primates > Superfamily Hominoid > Family Proconsulidae > Subfamily Proconsulinae > Genus Proconsul. Additional pieces found in museum collections more than 30 years later glued on perfectly. Proximate source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/05/homo-naledi-human-evolution-science/. Four species have been classified to date: P. africanus, P. gitongai, P. major and P. meswae. The finds from Koru and Songhor are still considered africanus. The original Proconsul skull, shown here, was found in 1948. This is not the case, and it is really surprising to learn that one of our relatives was living on earth as recently as 25 million years ago. The Proconsul was an animal quite similar to what would become the current primates. Note that the original specimen they have made this facsimile from, the almost complete 1948 discovery by Leakey, has been distorted during its time of burial by overlying sediments, as shown in the photo on the right. Furthermore, with the exception of humans and gorillas, apes are excellent climbers. If we want to be more specific about the time period it lived in, we can do so by saying that it lived during the Neogene Miocense Aquitian. While its status as a genuine early ape is disputed, Proconsul represents a suitable model for the blueprint of an early hominoid. A number of these differences are more advanced among Kisingiri specimens in the direction of crown hominoids. They are able to move quickly by jumping from branch to branch. Proconsul africanus KNM RU 7290 The Miocene was a period of volcanism and mountain building, during which the topography of the modern world was becoming established.
Instead, the EQ compares the ratio of brain to body size on a human scale where humans are equal to 100 EQ. This specimen is based on the 1948 Leaky discovery at Victoria Lake, Kenya. Primate - Primate - Miocene: The Miocene Epoch (23 million to 5.3 million years ago) is probably the most fruitful for paleoprimatology. (Walker is probably best known for having found the Nariokotome Boy, a 1.7-million-year-old specimen of Homo erectus/ergaster), Proconsul africanus The angle of vision of apes is much more three-dimensional than that of primates in general. It would have fed on fruits growing on plants, that is, it was a frugivorous animal. Note that Homo floresiensis has not been placed on this timeline. However, we must point out that, despite the fact that we are presenting it on our dinosaur page, at no time should you associate this genus with a dinosaur. Photo: http://www.liberaong.org/nota_conceptos.php?id=104, Proconsul africanus Source and text: Vienna Natural History Museum, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Proconsul africanus Today there are still a lot of genera and species belonging to this superfamily, not much further away than humans and monkeys in general. It’s a land mammal that inhabited our planet a few million years ago. The Proconsul are classified within the ape superfamily. The similarity of the Proconsul to monkeys in general is much greater than that of apes. The Proconsul currently holds the title of being the oldest hominid fossil in history. Photo: http://home.hccnet.nl/g.vd.ven/voorouders/plaatjes/gigantopithecus/, Proconsul africanus Photo and text: © Mark Teaford, Walker and Shipman 2005, Proconsul africanus It was not immediately accepted but ultimately prevailed. The main characteristic of this genus of primates is its absence of a tail. Photo: Nrkpan The Folies Bergère of 1903 in Paris had a popular performing chimpanzee named Consul, and so did the Belle Vue Zoo in Manchester, England, in 1894.

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