/druy'oh pith"euh seen', -suyn', -peuh thee"sin, -suyn/, n.
1. (sometimes cap.) an extinct ape of the genus Dryopithecus, known from Old World Miocene fossils.
2. of or pertaining to this ape.
[1945-50; DRYOPITHEC(US) + -INE1]

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Any member of the genus Dryopithecus, a group of extinct apelike animals.

The species are representative of a group of generalized apes that includes the ancestors of both the modern apes and humans. Fragmentary materials found over a widespread area, including Europe, Africa, and Asia, have been attributed to other groups but were probably remains of Dryopithecus. Dryopithecines are found as fossils in Miocene and Pliocene deposits (23.8–1.8 million years old) and apparently originated in Africa. Several distinct forms are known, including small, medium, and large (gorilla-sized). Dryopithecines lacked most of the specializations that distinguish modern apes from humans.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • dryopithecine — noun Etymology: ultimately from Greek drys tree + pithēkos ape Date: 1939 any of a subfamily (Dryopithecinae) of Miocene and Pliocene Old World anthropoid apes sometimes regarded as ancestors of both humans and modern anthropoids • dryopithecine… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • dryopithecine — adjective Of, or relating to, the primate genus Dryopithecus, considered to be relatives of both humans and apes …   Wiktionary

  • dryopithecine — dry·o·pith·e·cine …   English syllables

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