Orangutan-human clade (brainstorming a little)

John Grehan jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Wed Apr 9 08:16:57 CDT 2003

At 03:34 AM 4/9/2003 +0000, Ken Kinman wrote:
>     Thanks for posting that list of putative synapomorphies of the
> putative human-orangutan clade.  It was rather impressive at first, but I
> quickly became more skeptical.
>     These characters tend to cluster in areas like the shoulder, lower
> head (incl. teeth), and urogenital system.

If one chooses to be skeptical about characters because they are clustered
in a particular body 'area' then one is free to do so.

>Unfortunately, a single base mutation in a TBox gene can cause changes in
>these same disparate body regions (e.g., Pallister's
>Syndrome).  Therefore, the possibility that some mutation or two could
>likewise have caused convergence (homoplasy) between humans and orangutans
>must be raised.

One could invoke the same possibility for the other phylogenies.

>     I don't have the time to explore this possibility more deeply right
> now, but perhaps it is something you might want to consider.  I can only
> speculate whether this could be a rather complex "peanut butter sandwich"
> phenomenon, but I certainly wouldn't rule it out.

So could the other phylogenies.

Thanks for the feedback.

Dr. John Grehan
Director of Science and Collections
Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Parkway
Buffalo, New York 14211-1293
Voice 716-896-5200 x372
Fax 716-897-6723
jgrehan at sciencebuff.org

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