First discovery of Pleistocene orangutan (Pongo sp.) fossils in Peninsular Malaysia: Biogeographic and paleoenvironmental implications

Ibrahim Y.K., Tshen L.T., Westaway K.E., Cranbrook E.O., Humphrey L., Muhammad R.F., Zhao J.-X. and Peng L.C. (2013) First discovery of Pleistocene orangutan (Pongo sp.) fossils in Peninsular Malaysia: Biogeographic and paleoenvironmental implications. Journal of Human Evolution, 65 6: 770-797. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.09.005


Author Ibrahim Y.K.
Tshen L.T.
Westaway K.E.
Cranbrook E.O.
Humphrey L.
Muhammad R.F.
Zhao J.-X.
Peng L.C.
Title First discovery of Pleistocene orangutan (Pongo sp.) fossils in Peninsular Malaysia: Biogeographic and paleoenvironmental implications
Journal name Journal of Human Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0047-2484
1095-8606
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.09.005
Volume 65
Issue 6
Start page 770
End page 797
Total pages 28
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Subject 1105 Dentistry
1201 Architecture
3304 Education
Abstract Nine isolated fossil Pongo teeth from two cave sites in Peninsular Malaysia are reported. These are the first fossil Pongo specimens recorded in Peninsular Malaysia and represent significant southward extensions of the ancient Southeast Asian continental range of fossil Pongo during two key periods of the Quaternary. These new records from Peninsular Malaysia show that ancestral Pongo successfully passed the major biogeographical divide between mainland continental Southeast Asia and the Sunda subregion before 500ka (thousand years ago).If the presence of Pongo remains in fossil assemblages indicates prevailing forest habitat, then the persistence of Pongo at Batu Caves until 60ka implies that during the Last Glacial Phase sufficient forest cover persisted in the west coast plain of what is now Peninsular Malaysia at least ten millennia after a presumed corridor of desiccation had extended to central and east Java. Ultimately, environmental conditions of the peninsula during the Last Glacial Maximum evidently became inhospitable for Pongo, causing local extinction. Following post-glacial climatic amelioration and reforestation, a renewed sea barrier prevented re-colonization from the rainforest refugium in Sumatra, accounting for the present day absence of Pongo in apparently hospitable lowland evergreen rainforest of Peninsular Malaysia. The new teeth provide further evidence that Pongo did not undergo a consistent trend toward dental size reduction over time.
Keyword Badak Cave C
Batu Caves
Evergreen rainforest
Hominoid fossils
Luminescence dating
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
Official 2014 Collection
 
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