This week, our featured image comes from the paper, First Hominoid from the Late Miocene of the Irrawaddy Formation (Myanmar). The image above is Figure 2 of the manuscript and is the left jawbone of the Khoratpithecus ayeyarwadyensis n. sp. The mandible was discovered by a villager in the Magway area and was recovered by Kamol Chaivanich, an author of this manuscript.
From the abstract:
For over a century, a Neogene fossil mammal fauna has been known in the Irrawaddy Formation in central Myanmar. Unfortunately, the lack of accurately located fossiliferous sites and the absence of hominoid fossils have impeded paleontological studies. Here we describe the first hominoid found in Myanmar together with a Hipparion (s.l.) associated mammal fauna from Irrawaddy Formation deposits dated between 10.4 and 8.8 Ma by biochronology and magnetostratigraphy. This hominoid documents a new species of Khoratpithecus, increasing thereby the Miocene diversity of southern Asian hominoids. The composition of the associated fauna as well as stable isotope data on Hipparion (s.l.) indicate that it inhabited an evergreen forest in a C3-plant environment. Our results enlighten that late Miocene hominoids were more regionally diversified than other large mammals, pointing towards regionally-bounded evolution of the representatives of this group in Southeast Asia. The Irrawaddy Formation, with its extensive outcrops and long temporal range, has a great potential for improving our knowledge of hominoid evolution in Asia.
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