Fossil primate collection

Proconsul africanus skull

Proconsul africanus skull from the Miocene era (around 18 million years ago), discovered on Rusinga Island, Kenya

The Museum's fossil primate collection contains around 1,000 original specimens and casts, representing 96 of the approximately 500 recognised species of fossil primate.

1,000                          96                         

Specimens                          Species                           

The collection contains several holotype fossils, including:

  • Sivapithecus
  • Procynocephalus
  • two species of Proconsul

Notable sub-collections include:

  • a collection of subfossil lemur remains from Madagascar
  • a series of fossil teeth from the Miocene site of Bursa-Paşalar in Turkey (supported by a further collection of casts), representing Griphopithecus alpani and Kenyapithecus kizilli

Accessing the fossil primate collection

Access to the fossil primate collection for academic research is restricted to academic researchers affiliated to universities and associated institutions. Please contact the curator for further information if you would like to apply for access.

Opportunities for employment, work experience and volunteering in the anthropology collections are advertised on the Museum jobs page.

Looking for a specimen?

The primate collection is being digitised


Principal Curator

Dr Heather Bonney


Dr Rachel Ives

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.