Theropithecus oswaldi

Theropithecus oswaldi is an extinct species of Theropithecus from the early to middle Pleistocene of Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa, Spain, Morocco and Algeria.[1] It appears to have been a specialised grazer.[2] The species went extinct in South Africa around 1.0 Ma.[3] Having existed alongside hominins like Homo erectus, it is likely that conflict with early humans played a role in their extinction as a site has been found with many juveniles butchered.[4] It is remarkable for its large size compared to other old world monkeys.

Theropithecus oswaldi
Temporal range: Pleistocene
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Theropithecus
T. oswaldi
Binomial name
Theropithecus oswaldi
(Andrews, 1916)
  • Simopithecus oswaldi Andrews, 1916
  • Simopithecus jonathoni


Postcranial fossils found of this species are much greater in size than extant papionins, including the mandrill. [5]


  1. ^ "The Paleobiology Database". Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  2. ^ Van der Merwe, et al., 2003. The carbon isotope ecology and diet of Australopithecus africanus at Sterkfontein, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution 44: 581-597.
  3. ^ Faith, J.T., 2014. Late Pleistocene and Holocene mammal extinctions on continental Africa. Earth-Science Reviews 128: 105-121
  4. ^ Shipman, Pat; Bosler, Wendy (June 1981). "Butchering of Giant Geladas at an Acheulian Site". Current Anthropology. 22: 257–288. doi:10.1086/202663. JSTOR 2742201. S2CID 87006937 – via JSTOR.
  5. ^ Geraads, Denis; de Bonis, Louis (6 Feb 2020). "First record of Theropithecus (Cercopithecidae) from the Republic of Djibouti". Journal of Human Evolution. 138: 102686. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2019.102686. PMID 31759254. S2CID 208254366.