[Taxacom] New synapomorphy for humans and orangutans

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Fri Jan 1 21:59:56 CST 2010

For those not interested in the orangutan controversy please do not read
further (although the subject line should have provided that indication

In reference to the Eurekalert press release on molar eruption timing

Titled "First molars provide an insight into evolution of primates" the
authors report the gorilla's first molar emergence at 3.8 years, nearly
identical to that of a wild chimpanzee, and the orangutan's age at first
molar emergence was 4.6 years, which falls closer to the age of
approximately 5.8 years in modern humans. 

There you have it - another apparent synapomorphy for humans and
orangutans. But oh no, the authors have to contradict the 'insight' by
denying its reality with the declaration that "However, he and Schwartz
[different Schwartz from J.H. Schwartz] caution that though the later
emergence age in these large Asian apes is closer to that for modern
humans, these latest findings should not be taken to indicate some
special evolutionary relationship between the two."

Duh - and it's only January 1, 1010.

John Grehan

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