Chromosomes of orangutans

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jan 29 10:05:33 CST 2004


Dear All,
      I don't know much about chromosomal homologies, but here's something that I stumbled across this past weekend that might have a bearing on the orangutan-human debate.
      According to one site I found, the chromosome homologies look as if they are noticably more similar between the orangutan and Homo, than to Gorilla or Pan.  The one major difference (at least it jumped out at me) seems to be that Chromosome 4 in orangutan is almost completely homologous to Chromosome 5 of Homo, whereas the same Chromosome 4 in gorillas and chimps are much less homologous to Chromosome 5 in Homo.  How much significance this has I can't say, but I found it a little startling and of possible relevance to the current debate.
      Wish I had time to explore this further, but my time for "things biological" is limited these days (and John seems to be pursuing this one quite energetically).  I think that this chromosome thing seems AT LEAST as significant as stories about orangutans catching a bus (or chimps flying airplanes in the movie "Project X").  <snicker>  Sorry, I just couldn't resisted that one.
     But seriously, arguments about behavior just don't have a lot of weight in my mind (human behavior alone seems just too variable and quirky to be very reliable, much less extrapolating to the behavior of other great apes).   Chromosomes would be something biologists could get a better handle on, and I don't recall seeing it being discussed in the context of this debate.  Anyway, the link to the site is given below for those who are interested.
              ------- Good luck,
                         Ken Kinman

http://www.bionet.nsc.ru/chromosomes/maps/map.htm




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