[monkeywire] Humans related to orangutans, not chimps

Josh Greenman josh.greenman at gmail.com
Sun Jun 28 13:00:53 EDT 2009


Humans related to orangutans, not chimps

Published: June 22, 2009 at 11:38 AM

A U.S. study suggests humans are more likely related to orangutans and
not chimpanzees, as is commonly proposed.

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and the Buffalo Museum of
Science said they view as "problematic" the popular suggestion, based
on DNA analysis, that humans are most closely related to chimpanzees.
They said that hypothesis is not supported by fossil evidence.

University of Pittsburgh Professor Jeffrey Schwartz and John Grehan,
director of science at the Buffalo museum, conducted a detailed
analysis of the physical features of living and fossil apes. They said
their findings suggest humans, orangutans and early apes belong to a
group separate from chimpanzees and gorillas.

Schwartz and Grehan scrutinized hundreds of physical characteristics
often cited as evidence of evolutionary relationships among humans and
other great apes and selected 63 that could be verified as unique
since they do not appear in other primates. Of those features, the
analysis found humans shared 28 unique physical characteristics with
orangutans, compared with only two features with chimpanzees.

The study is detailed in the Journal of Biogeography.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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