Are Chimpanzees the Same Genus as Humans?

Reply Sun 29 Jan, 2006 08:42 pm
Closer to man than ape

Ian Sample, science correspondent
Tuesday January 24, 2006
The Guardian

They already use basic tools, have rudimentary language and star in TV commercials, but now scientists have proof that chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than to other great apes.

Genetic tests comparing DNA from humans, chimps, gorillas and orang-utans reveal striking similarities in the way chimps and humans evolve that set them apart from the others.

The finding adds weight to a controversial proposal to scrap the long-used chimp genus "Pan" and reclassify the animals as members of the human family.

More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,3605,1693364,00.html
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,358 • Replies: 4
No top replies

Reply Sun 29 Jan, 2006 08:44 pm
There was an article today, in google news, about using chimp anti-bodies to make anti-virals for us hairless chimps. Which anti-viral I can't remember....
0 Replies
Reply Fri 19 May, 2006 03:39 am
Re: Are Chimpanzees the Same Genus as Humans?
Chimpanzee and human ancestors may have interbred
Genetic analysis suggests a messy split between the two lineages.
Michael Hopkin

The evolutionary split between humans and our nearest evolutionary cousins, chimpanzees, may have occurred more recently than we thought, according to a new comparison of the respective genetic sequences. What's more, it might have been a messy divorce rather than a clean break -- leading to the controversial theory that our two sets of ancestors may have interbred many thousands of years after first parting company.

The discovery also casts doubt on the status of fossils that were thought to represent the first flowering of the human branch of the evolutionary tree -- but which now may have to be reclassified as coming from a time before our split with the rest of the apes.

Previous estimates put the split at as much as 7 million years ago -- meaning that Toumaï, a fossil dating from at least 6.5 million years ago in Chad and assigned to the species Sahelanthropus tchadensis, was hailed as the earliest-known member of the line that gave rise to modern humans.

But researchers led by David Reich of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, now calculate that the split may have occurred no more than 6.3 million years ago, and possibly as recently as 5.4 million. That would make Toumaï older than the time of the split.

Early days

The researchers make their claim after comparing the genetic codes of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and other primates in unprecedented detail -- more than 20 million DNA 'letters' in all. By checking the differences between different species' DNA sequences, they were able to estimate the time since they first diverged.

But the story is not simple, Reich and his team explain in their study, published online in Nature. Different sections of the genome differ by different amounts, suggesting that they parted ways at different times. The divorce period between the two species, the data suggest, could have lasted a million years.

The region bearing the most similarity is the X chromosome. This is exactly what one might expect if the two lineages had continued to interbreed after first starting to separate.

The X chromosome, one of the pair of sex-determining chromosomes, is the home of many genes that govern fertility, Reich explains. So any two species that could mate with one another would be expected to have similar X chromosomes. And natural selection would prevent these chromosomes from diverging for as long as the hybridization was going on.

In the family

If such a hybrid population really did exist, the question remains as to whether it died out, or whether modern humans or chimpanzees (or both) are its descendants. It's very difficult to say, admits Reich. "The fossil data suggest -- very tenuously -- that it may have been humans who are descended from the hybrid population."

For some reason, human-like fossils far outnumber chimpanzee-like ones in the fossil record, making it difficult to see exactly who was sleeping with whom at the time.

So where does this leave Toumaï and his ilk? They may have sat in an evolutionary pocket between the initial split and the subsequent hybridization, Reich suggests, or have been around at the time but not involved in the inter-species carnality. Reich says that more fossils and developmental studies will be needed to resolve this tricky question.

[list]Patterson N., Richter D. J., Gnerre S., Lander E. S.& Reich D. Nature, doi:10.1038/nature04789 (2006).[/list]

0 Replies
Lord Ellpus
Reply Fri 19 May, 2006 03:43 am
I think this has already been done?


You've got more info, though.
0 Replies
Student Ally
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2015 10:09 pm
Some ape are smarter then man, believe it or not. Some can memorize in under a half a second. Others with training, can count up to 10. Australopithecus, basically a monkey who began walking on two, had a brain 375-550cm2. As they began experimenting with rocks, grunting with communication (etc) they developed brain evolutions. In ways ape can be our ancestor.
0 Replies

Related Topics

Evolution 101 - Discussion by gungasnake
Typing Equations on a PC - Discussion by Brandon9000
The Future of Artificial Intelligence - Discussion by Brandon9000
The well known Mind vs Brain. - Discussion by crayon851
Scientists Offer Proof of 'Dark Matter' - Discussion by oralloy
Blue Saturn - Discussion by oralloy
Bald Eagle-DDT Myth Still Flying High - Discussion by gungasnake
DDT: A Weapon of Mass Survival - Discussion by gungasnake
  1. Forums
  2. » Are Chimpanzees the Same Genus as Humans?
Copyright © 2023 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 10/04/2023 at 08:34:37