II. 1.2.1 1. Ramapithecus,

Ramapithecus

Introduction

  • Believed to be earliest hominid
  • Based on new and latest evidences accepted as fossil Ape
  • Found in India, Pakistan, Europe, China, Greece, Hungary
  • Existed between 14 to 9 million yeas ago in Miocene
  • 1934 Edward Lewis in Shiwalik hills
  • Simons in 1964 analysed the specimen and gave the name Ramapithacus punjabicus.
  • Found in Shiwalik hills in India and Fort Ternan in Kenya

 Physical Characteristics

  • Teeth jaw and small portion of lower jaw found
  • Reverse dental pattern ie front teeth bigger while back teeth smaller
  • Relatively small incisors and canines
  • Canines equal in level to incisors
  • Molar crowns were parallel sided
  • Premolar amd molar had thick enamel curved dental arcade

Adptations to Open grassland

  • Hand and finger preparation of food
  • Frequent us of tools
  • Upright posture
  • Bipedal locomotion
  • Wide field of vision

Ramapithacus and early Hominid- differences

  • Dental arcade of ramapithacus as well as Dryopithacus have divergent pattern and does not curve inward towards the back
  • Lower front pre-molar is semi sectorial ie intermediate between sectorial premolar of Dryopithacus and non sectoral tricuspid premolar of later hominid.

Cultural features

  • Neither the post cranial skeleton nor adequate tools of antiquity been found
  • New dietry source – nuts, seeds and grasses away from ape diet of forest fruits and vegetables

Taxonomic issue

  • As part of Miocene radiation complex
  • Not as distict line of Dryopithacus but  leading to greater ape line
  • Leading to hominid
  • Smaller than Shivapithacus and included in it.

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