[Taxacom] chimp-human interbreeding & fuzzy origins?

Barry Roth barry_roth at yahoo.com
Mon May 22 13:46:50 CDT 2006


When I first read this press release in the local newspaper, several possibly naive questions popped into my head:
   
  (1)  are humans and chimpanzees at all interfertile today?
   
  (2)  if the Toumai skull, which is said to combine features of both humans and chimpanzees, precedes the definitive human-chimp split, then are some of the features unique to modern chimpanzees apomorphic relative to homologous character-states in humans?  -- as much of a blow to our egos as this might be ;^)
   
  (3)  and if so, are some of those plesiomorphies of humans symplesiomorphic with the states in gorillas and orang-utans?
   
  Forgive me for gulping at the term "fuzzy origins."  Just thinking what a fundamentalist preacher could do with that.
   
  All best,
   
  Barry Roth

Ken Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com> wrote:
  Dear All:
Comparisons of the chimp and human genomes are apparently suggesting 
that they may have partially interbred for a million years after the 
speciation process first began. Don't know the details, so not sure how 
significant or accurate this analysis might be, but sounds like it be a case 
of very fuzzy origins for both species:

http://www.broad.mit.edu/cgi-bin/news/display_news.cgi?id=1003

----Ken Kinman



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