One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An extinct ape, Oreopithecus bambolii, known from numerous late Miocene fossil remains found chiefly in Italy, and dated to about eight million years ago.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Geological Magazine. From scientific Latin Oreopithecus, genus name from post-classical Latin oreo- relating to mountains, used here with allusion to the form of the tubercles on the molar teeth + scientific Latin -pithecus (fossil) ape.
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