Not to be confused with Pongidae.
Temporal range: 18.5–0 Ma
|Pongo pygmaeus (Bornean orangutan)|
Ponginae is a subfamily in the family Hominidae. Once a diverse lineage of Eurasian apes, the subfamily has only one extant genus, Pongo (orangutans), which contains three extant species; the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis,) and the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). All three species are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The first pongine genera appear in the Miocene, Sivapithecus and Khoratpithecus, six or seven million years before evidence of orangutans was found from Pleistocene south-east Asia and southern China. Ponginae may also include the genera Lufengpithecus, Ankarapithecus, and Gigantopithecus. However, phylogenetic analysis in 2004, which originally found Lufengpithecus and Ankarapithecus to be most closely related to the orangutan, gave different results "under an analytical method that attempted to reduce stratigraphic incongruence", instead placing them on the base of the stem of the African ape-human clade.
The most well-known fossil genus of Ponginae is Sivapithecus, consisting of several species from 12.5 million to 8.5 million years ago. It differs from orangutans in dentition and postcranial morphology.