2017 Volume 125 Issue 2 Pages 45-51
The African primate fossil record is very poor between the mid-Middle and mid-Late Miocene. Nakali (~10–9.8 Ma) is one of the rare African localities that have yielded primate fossils from this period, including a new genus of great ape, Nakalipithecus nakayamai, and another large-bodied hominoid species. The Nakali primate fauna also includes small-bodied ‘apes’ and Old World monkeys (mostly colobines). In this article, we describe a new specimen of a small-bodied ‘ape’ discovered from Nakali, which is assigned to nyanzapithecines. Nyanzapithecines are characterized by their derived dental morphology, and the previously known nyanzapithecines range in chronological age between the Late Oligocene and early Middle Miocene (~25–13.7 Ma). The new nyanzapithecine specimen from Nakali is therefore the latest occurrence of this group in the African fossil record, extending its chronological range by almost 4 million years younger.