[Taxacom] New synapomorphy for humans and orangutans

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Sat Jan 2 21:21:47 CST 2010

I agree completely with Ken's caveat about the lack of sampling. It's a
wonder that the authors were allowed to make their comparisons based on
so few samples. I would say that its an apparent synapomorphy and it
will be interesting to see if it is validated or falsified by subsequent

The 'genome backup' is just a red hearing. Even if the same
developmental pathways and same DNA changes were found to be involved it
could still just be dismissed as a parallelism.

John Grehan 

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Kenneth Kinman
Sent: Saturday, January 02, 2010 9:11 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] New synapomorphy for humans and orangutans

Oh dear,
      It's deja vu all over again.  But now all you need to do is to
find a genome change which backs it up (or any of your other proposed
synapomorphies).  Otherwise, it's most likely just what the authors
suggested it is---homoplastic, not synapomorphic.                      
P.S.  It would be interesting to know if bonobo chimps have a later
eruption of molars than regular chimps.  Wouldn't be at all surprised if
bonobos erupt closer to 4.6 years than regular chimps at 4.0 years.
With so little sampling, I wouldn't read too much into this character
anyway.  Declaring it a synapomorphy is at best premature.


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