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Temporal range: Late Miocene–Late Pliocene
Mesopithecus pentelici skeleton.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Cercopithecidae
Subfamily: Colobinae
Genus: Mesopithecus
Wagner, 1839
  • Mesopithecus monspessulanus(Gervais 1859)
  • Mesopithecus pentelici (Wagner 1839) (type)

Mesopithecus ("middle monkey") is an extinct genus of Old World monkey that lived in Europe and western Asia 7 to 5 million years ago. It was once thought that it might be an ancestor of the grey langur, but a more recent study[1] suggests that they are more closely related to the snub-nosed monkeys and doucs.

Mesopithecus pentelici skulls
Skeletal restoration

Mesopithecus resembled a modern macaque, with a body length of about 40 centimetres (16 in). It was adapted to both walking and climbing, possessing a slender body with long, muscular limbs and flexible fingers. Its teeth suggest that it primarily ate soft leaves and fruit.[2]



  1. ^ Pan, Ruliang; Groves, Colin; Oxnard, Charles (2004). "Relationships Between the Fossil Colobine Mesopithecus pentelicus and Extant Cercopithecoids, Based on Dental Metrics" (PDF). American Journal of Primatology. 62 (4): 287–299. PMID 15085533. doi:10.1002/ajp.20022. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  2. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 289. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 

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