Temporal range: Miocene
|Ouranopithecus macedoniensis skull, Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris|
Bonis & Melentis, 1977
Ouranopithecus is an extinct primate genus represented by two species, Ouranopithecus macedoniensis, a late Miocene hominid found in Greece, and Ouranopithecus turkae, also from the late Miocene and found in Turkey. Based on O. macedoniensis's dental and facial anatomy, it is possible that O. macedoniensis was a dryopithecine. However, O. macedoniensis seems to be more closely related to orangutans in subfamily Ponginae while the most of Dryopithecinae are more closely related to the other great apes in Homininae and a few are considered to be outside of the ape clade altogether. One distinctive trait that Ouranopithecus shares with the humans and other modern African apes is the frontal sinus, a cavity in the forehead. Some investigators consider it possible that O. macedoniensis was the last common ancestor of the great apes and the humans. It has been suggested that it may be a synonym of Graecopithecus freybergi.
O. macedoniensis had a large, broad face with a prominent supraorbital torus. It also had square-shaped orbits. O. macedoniensis may have had a relatively large body size. O. macedoniensis's molar enamel cover was fairly thick and had low cusps. Sexual dimorphism is evident by the teeth. The male O. macedoniensis had large canine teeth with shearing lower premolars.
See also 
- Smith, T.; Martin, L.; Reid, D.; De Bonis, L.; Koufos, G. (2004). "An examination of dental development in Graecopithecus freybergi (=Ouranopithecus macedoniensis)". Journal of Human Evolution 46 (5): 551–577. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2004.01.006. PMID 15120265.
- Güleç, E. S.; Sevim, A.; Pehlevan, C.; Kaya, F. (2007). "A new great ape from the late Miocene of Turkey". Anthropological Science 115 (2): 153. doi:10.1537/ase.070501.
- De Bonis, L.; Bouvrain, G.; Geraads, D.; Koufost, G. (1990). "New hominid skull material from the late Miocene of Macedonia in Northern Greece". Nature 345 (6277): 712. Bibcode:1990Natur.345..712D. doi:10.1038/345712a0. PMID 2193230.
- Ungar, Peter S. "Sample Microwear Texture Images". University of Arkansas. Retrieved december 2010. (See Ouranopithecus microwear image.)