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OT Hominidae

Patrick Norton (ptnorton@msn.com) wrote:

<Chimps and Gorilla are of the Family Pongidae, not Hominidae. You are
probably thinking of the Superfamily Hominoidae, of which they are all

  No, I am siding with Keesey on this. All present researchers except for
some adverse holdouts to the equivalent of Feduccia vs. Ostrom perceive
the nature of hominids like *Pan* to be the closest genetic outgroup to
human populations, *Gorilla* outside of that, and *Pongo* outside of that.
The topology, thought maybe not the labelling, that Mike Keesey provided
is almost universally accepted on both molecular and morphological bases.
I believe the idea that man is so special and unique that it deserves a
whole "-idae" of it's own is a ridiculous Linnaean holdout. That
australopithecines are even closer to man than are other apes but are
split off to signify this speciality is further signs of typological
classification that is not recognized by other primatologists and
certainly not by any hominid worker, including Clarke and Tobias. It would
be a grave error to perpetuate the idea that hominids are inclusive only
of *Homo*, and that the paraphyly of hominoids is somehow realistic enough
to put forward. And I am not even talking in cladistic terms, but as
simple logic of relatedness. *Pongo* is variously removed in it's own
-idae label, but this is symptomatic of a "how much can an -idae hold" and
a "too much morphology differentiates" to apply the label. Very arbitrary.
Except for gibbons, all apes may be classified as Hominids. Genetic
studies have disproved any pongine-gorilline classification to the
exclusion of either panines or hominines. And there are lots of them.

  Haplorrhine systematics are quite clear on this, however, and the
dissenters are very few and dwindling in the face of numerous novel
genetic and morphological studies.


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

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