First record of the Miocene hominoid Sivapithecus from Kutch, Gujarat state, western India
Hominoid remains from Miocene deposits in India and Pakistan have played a pivotal role in understanding the evolution of great apes and humans since they were first described in the 19th Century. We describe here a hominoid maxillary fragment preserving the canine and cheek teeth collected in 2011 from the Kutch (= Kachchh) basin in the Kutch district, Gujarat state, western India. A basal Late Miocene age is proposed based on the associated faunal assemblage that includes Hipparion and other age-diagnostic mammalian taxa. Miocene Hominoidea are known previously from several areas of the Siwalik Group in the outer western Himalayas of India, Pakistan, and Nepal. This is the first record of a hominoid from the Neogene of the Kutch Basin and represents a significant southern range extension of Miocene hominoids in the Indian peninsula. The specimen is assigned to the Genus Sivapithecus, species unspecified.