Are gorillas hominids?

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 4 13:01:00 CDT 2001

Dear All,
     Seems that cladists are more split on PhyloCode than I realized.
However, they don't appear to be that split on phylogenetic taxonomy.
     A case in point is Family Hominidae, which has been quietly and
cladistically expanded to include gorillas and chimps (and their fossil
relatives).  This leaves Family Pongidae with just Pongo and its fossil
relatives.  What we used to call hominids are now reduced to Tribe Hominini
(or just Hominini for those who hate ranks).
     Is such an expansion of the meaning hominid (and the content of Family
Hominidae) a good idea?  Pongidae was (and traditionally still is) a
paraphyletic group, but if they want to cladify the classification why don't
they just raise Gorillidae and Panidae to family level, and leave Hominidae
as it was?   Or perhaps this doesn't bother other traditionalists as it does
                   -----Ken Kinman

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