French-Thai Paleontological Mission

Sedimentary basins of Northern and Eastern Thailand

Rich fossiliferous deposits containing freshwater and terrestrial vertebrate fossils
documenting the middle and upper Miocene of southeastern Asia.

Principal investigator

Research question

Miocene mammal faunas of Thailand have delivered rich primates fauna represented by sivaladapids, tarsiids, pliopithecids as well as hominoids, which confer to these sites an outstanding interest for our evolutionary history.

Some results

Numerous publications and PhD thesis are issued from these discoveries which have been conducted for the last 30 years. They concern geology, dating and description of mammalian faunas and especially primates. New primates have been described, as well as many representatives of other mammalian groups such as proboscideans, carnivores, rhinocerotids, anthracotheriids, ruminants, … Relative to hominoids, a new genus, Khoratpithecus, has been described and is considered as the closest known relative of the extant orangutan.

Mission organization

MPFT is a trandisciplinary (paleontology, geology and paleoenvironments) research project conducted by PALEVOPRIM in close cooperation with the Department of Mineral Resources and Chulalongkorn University, Thailand


Most of the funding comes from PALEVOPRIM (CNRS et University of Poitiers).

Iconic publications

Benammi, M. et al. (2002). Magnetostratigraphy of the Middle Miocene continental sedimentary sequences of the Mae Moh basin in northern Thailand: evidence for counterclockwise block rotation. Earth Planet Sci Lett. 204: 373-383.

Chaimanee, Y. et al. (2004). A new orang-utan relative from the Late Miocene of Thailand. Nature 427: 439-441.

Chavasseau, O. et al. (2009). New Proboscideans (Mammalia) from the middle Miocene of Thailand. Zool. J Linn. Soc. 155: 703-721.

Peigne, S., Y. Chaimanee, et al. (2006). A new Amphicyonid (Mammalia, Carnivora, Amphicyonidae) from the late middle Miocene of northern Thailand and a review of the amphicyonine record in Asia. J. Asian Earth Sci. 26: 519-532.

Sepulchre, P. et al. (2010). Mid-Tertiary paleoenvironments in Thailand: pollen evidences. Climates of the Past. 6 (4): 461-473.



Tél. : +33 (0)5 49 45 37 53

Guylaine REYNAUD

Tél. : +33 (0)5 49 45 37 26

Fax : +33.(0)5 49 45 40 17


Université de Poitiers – UFR SFA


Bât B35 – TSA 51106

6 rue Michel Brunet

86073 POITIERS Cedex 9