THE 4.2 million-year-old fossil of a tiny monkey that weighed roughly the same as a pineapple has been discovered in Kenya.

Nanopithecus browni was the same size as a modern talapoin monkey, the smallest living Old World monkey species, which weighs only two to three pounds. Talapoins are part of a large group of monkeys called guenons, which are commonplace across Africa today.

Most species are several times larger in size than Nanopithecus browni.

Guenon evolution is poorly understood but thought to be driven by changes in forest habitats, with the distribution of modern species reflecting the breakup and re-convergence of ancient forests.

Fredrick Kyalo Manthi, of the National Museums of Kenya, said: “Environmental changes during the Plio-Pleistocene may have influenced the present-day distribution of guenons.”