[Taxacom] human ear origins

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Thu Feb 28 14:40:40 CST 2008

For those of you who still have an open mind about the last common
ancestor of humans and their nearest great ape relative, I have recently
come closer to confirming that humans and orangutans share a unique
external ear configuration in that the outer helix (that is the outer
edge of your ear) and the inner helix (that is the inner rim) come close
together about midway up the ear whereas in all other primates the two
rims are either far apart or maintain an even distance. The inner helix
also sticks out from the plane of the ear so that you can sometimes see
it protruding slightly when you look directly at a person or an


I recently obtained some high resolution images of orangutans courtesy
of Zoo Atlanta that confirm the human similarity. These can be seen at
http://www.sciencebuff.org/externalear.php along with some additional
images of other primates. All that remains is to obtain similarly
definitive images of gibbons to confirm the absence of the feature in
that group (which seems probable given the single low resolution image I
have obtained to date).


John Grehan



Dr. John R. Grehan

Director of Science and Collections

Buffalo Museum of Science1020 Humboldt Parkway

Buffalo, NY 14211-1193

email: jgrehan at sciencebuff.org

Phone: (716) 896-5200 ext 372




Ghost moth research


Human evolution and the great apes




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