Scientific name Ouranopithecus
Higher classification Great apes
|Similar Ape, Great apes, Nakalipithecus, Primate, Ankarapithecus|
Ouranopithecus is an extinct genus of Eurasian great ape represented by two species, Ouranopithecus macedoniensis, a late Miocene (9.6–8.7 mya) hominoid from Greece and Bulgaria, and Ouranopithecus turkae, also from the late Miocene (8.7–7.4 mya) of Turkey.
Based on O. macedoniensis's dental and facial anatomy, it has been suggested that the Ouranopithecus were actually dryopithecines. However, Ouranopithecines are probably more closely related to the Ponginae. Some researchers consider O. macedoniensis to be the last common ancestor of apes and humans, and a forerunner to australopithecines and humans, although this is very controversial and not widely accepted. It is true that O. macedoniensis shares derived features with some early hominins (such as the frontal sinus, a cavity in the forehead), but they are almost certainly not closely related species. It has been suggested that it may be a synonym of Graecopithecus freybergi, although this is widely disputed in the literature.