Temporal range: Miocene
Gebo et al., 1997
The phylogenetic status of Morotopithecus bishopi is debated to the extent that it challenges established views on the connection between Miocene primates and extant hominids (i.e. great apes). Parsimonious phylogenetic analyses indicate Morotopithecus is more derived than Proconsul,  Afropithecus, and Kenyapithecus, but less derived than Oreopithecus, Sivapithecus, and Dryopithecus. Morotopithecus thus seems to be a sister taxon to extant great apes while Hylobates (gibbons) seem to have branched off before this clade appeared. However, gibbons are believed to have branched off while Morotopithecus is dated to more than . In a comparison of teeth characteristics of Morotopithecus to Afropithecus the results showed little difference, plus evidence gathered from cranial comparisons also indicate that the two genera may be the same, a conclusion of limited confidence due to the lack of evidence to produce a complete anatomy for both (Patel, Grossman 2005).
- Morotopithecus bishopi - Properties - The Taxonomicon
- Maclatchy, L. (2004), The oldest ape. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 13: 90–103.  doi:10.1002/evan.10133[Retrieved 2012-01-03]
- Young, Nathan M; MacLatchy, Laura (2004). "The phylogenetic position of Morotopithecus" (PDF). Journal of Human Evolution 46: 163–184. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2003.11.002.
- Biren A. Patel, Ari Grossman, (2005) Dental metric comparisons of Morotopithecus and Afropithecus: Implications for the validity of the genus Morotopithecus Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA Journal of Human Evolution Volume 51, Issue 5, November 2006, Pages 506-512  doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2006.07.002[Retrieved 2012-01-03]