• Virtues Hills, Kenya
  • Maboko Iceland, Lake Victoria, Kenya

Equatorius africanus is an extinct species of primates that occurred during the middle Miocene in East Africa. In Kenya, on the edge of the Great African grave breach discovered in the virtues Hills fossils date, published in 1999 the first description of the genus According Equatorius, from strata that 15,5 and 14 million years old.

As holotype was in the original description by Steve Ward et al. the fragment of an upper jaw with the obtained front molar P3, the adjacent large molar M1 and M2 obtained from the molar tooth root reported (archive number BMNH M 16649 ). Equatorius africanus is also the type species and is currently the only species of the genus Equatorius. This name is derived from the locality Maboko Iceland in Lake Victoria, not far from the equator, as well as from Latin africanus ( = " african ").

Trigger for the description of the genus Equatorius was loud first description of the discovery of the partially preserved skeleton of a presumably male individual ( archive number KNM -TH 28860 ), the age from 15.58 to 15.36 million years ago was attributed. It originates from the reference BPRP 122 at Kipsaramon, Baringo District, in the northwestern area of the crest virtues Hills. Were recovered from this Fossil including the almost completely preserved, partially edentulous mandible, several incisors of the upper jaw, fragments of the scapula, sternum and several ribs, fragments of both humeri, both spoke and Ellen, various bones of the hands and a completely preserved vertebrae.

From the analysis of the teeth and the body bone was concluded that the characteristics of which have great similarities with those of the fossil record that had been until then in 1967 introduced by Louis Leakey kind Kenyapithecus assigned africanus; those finds are also exclusively from Kenya, partly from the virtues Hills, partly from the Samburu District. Steve Ward et al. came in 1999 in contrast to the conclusion that - in the light of the discovered of them part of the skeleton KNM -TH 28860 - so significant differences between the previously exist as Kenyapithecus africanus designated fossils and those of the type species of the genus Kenyapithecus, Kenyapithecus wickeri that all these fossils of a own genus - the genus Equatorius - should be attributed. Because of this definition also includes those fossils to Equatorius, the africanus in the older literature as proconsul, Sivapithecus africanus, Dryopithecus sivalensis, Sivapithecus sivalensis and Griphopithecus africanus had been called because those findings were previously united in the way Kenyapithecus africanus. The partial skeleton KNM -TH 28860 was described in detail only in early 2002.

To this course was already argued in 2000, among other things, in the definition of Equatorius you 've missed in the original description, among other things, to give a precise definition of Griphopithecus to which there is a great similarity and its well-established generic name has priority over the introduction of a new generic name would. In addition, the descriptions of the individual, later identified to Equatorius fossils diverge so significantly that a clear demarcation of Kenyapithecus seems to be not so far taken place, although later more fossils were discovered at the same locality in the virtues Hills.

Equatorius africanus applies, according to the first description in comparison to Kenyapithecus wickeri in terms of various characteristics as the original; be pointed out further anatomical features that share this style with Proconsul and Afropithecus. However Equatorius was already better adapted to terrestrial life as Proconsul. Due to the extent of his bones was estimated that the body weight of the individual KNM -TH 28860 had amounted to lifetime about 27 kilogram.