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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Oo-ga! oo-ga! We orangs, NOT chimps!!

British physicist David J. Tyler writes, in "Humanity as the second orang-utan" (ARN, 2 July 2009)
The world of human phylogeny has been hit by a bombshell. Although scholars and textbooks are presenting chimpanzees as man's closest relatives, Grehan and Schwartz have revived the case for orangutans. They consider hominoids to be comprised of two sister clades: the human-orangutan clade (dental hominoids) and the chimpanzee-gorilla clade (African apes). They claim that humans and orangutans "share a common ancestor that excludes the extant African apes". Since it is received wisdom that chimps are the nearest relative to humans because we share over 98% of their genes and since humans are referred to as the "third chimpanzee", the ramifications of the new paper are immense!
You bet, especially for the 98% chimpanzee industry. Read more here.

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