Dryopithecus (drĪˌōpəthēˈkəs, –pĭthˈəkəs) [key], an extinct group of apes. Fossils about 20 million years old have been found in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Dryopithecus had a semierect posture and is generally believed to be ancestral to modern apes and man. Proconsul, a group of fossil apes that may have been the ancestor of the chimpanzee, is considered by some authorities to be a subgroup of Dryopithecus.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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