[Taxacom] Morphological molecular reconciliation again (was erecting or sinking higher taxa

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 14 21:42:56 CDT 2012

Dear All,      If you expand the orangutan clade to include Lufengpithecus, then I would agree that it is probably paraphyletic.  However, not all workers include Lufengpithecus in the orangutan clade.  It could easily be an extinct clade which split off between the orangutan clade and the "African ape" clade (man, chimps, and gorillas). 
      If so, perhaps we should expect to find Lufengpithecus further west in Asia, along with early members of the "African ape" clade.  As always, more fossils are always needed, and just one lucky discovery could radically change our understanding of Hominoid evolution.  In any case, I am still betting that the morphologies shared by orangutans and hominids are symplesiomorphic (not synapomorphic as John believes).  I am far less certain whether chimps are closer to hominids or to gorillas.               
> Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2012 11:45:43 -0700
> From: lists at curtisclark.org
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Morphological molecular reconciliation again (was erecting or sinking higher taxa
> On 2012-10-14 9:25 AM, John Grehan wrote:
> > Richard's conclusion is only possible by saying that the morpogenetic
> > evidence is wrong (i.e. throwing it out). And I did mention in my response
> > an explanation for the molecular evidence being wrong in this case - that
> > the molecular evidence result has been negatively affected by the presence
> > of unrecognized plesiomorphies (due to the phenetic nature of character
> > state determination and analysis).
> If I'm understanding Richard, he's hypothesizing that orangutans are a 
> grade, that was at one time widespread, and that gave rise to chimps, 
> bonobos, mountain and lowland gorillas, and humans, without itself being 
> transformed by anagenesis. Those orangs that gave rise to humans had 
> previously given rise to chimps, and so there would be expected to be 
> strong molecular similarities between humans, chimps, and the extinct 
> orang subgroup that gave rsie to them. But those orangs still share 
> morphological features with the SE Asian orangs, and those features were 
> less changed when humans speciated than when chimps, bonobos, or 
> gorillas speciated. So the orang-human morphological similarities can 
> appear to be symplesiomorphies relative to chimps, bonobos, and 
> gorillas, while at the same time being evidence of close relationship.
> Richard, am I on the right track?
> -- 
> Curtis Clark        http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
> Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4140
> Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768
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