[Taxacom] Schwartz and Grehan (2009) cited on Dinosaur Mailing List

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Mon Sep 12 22:26:23 CDT 2011

Dear All,
       I was catching up on postings at the DML (Dinosaur Mailing List),
and one last week caught my eye.  It cites the paper by Schwartz and
Grehan (2009) challenging the exclusivity of a supposed chimp-hominid
clade.  Although the poster has reservations about the paper's
conclusions, he does make some interesting observations (as does Greg
Paul, whose posting he is responding to).  However, one thing that he
fails to point out is that Schwartz and Grehan, 2009, do not produce
even a single molecular character to support their proposed
orangutan-hominid clade, which in my mind is it biggest shortcoming.   
       Therefore, if Schwartz and Grehan cannot produce any molecular
evidence to support an orangutan-hominid clade, and the molecularists
cannot produce convincing morphological evidence for a chimp-hominid
clade, then I still feel that hominids most like did not exclusively
clade with either of them, but that they are sister group to a
chimp-gorilla clade.     
       It seems that symplesiomorphies are relatively easy to find among
greats apes, but finding true synapomorphies (molecular or
morphological) for its subclades is no easy matter.  I have little hope
of relevant fossil finds shedding much light on the debate anytime soon,
but whole genomes (especially certain LINES contained therein) will soon
make considerable progress in resolving this debate.  Anyway, for the
DML postings (for what they are worth), see the weblink below.     
          -----------Ken Kinman         


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