humans' closest kin

Humans closest kin - Pitt anthropologist offers different opini NEWS SCIENCE Pitt anthropologist offers different opinion of humans closest kin

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NEWS / SCIENCE Chimpanzee or orangutan? Which great ape is our closet kin? The debate rages. The predominant opinion, based on genome comparisons, settles squarely on the shoulders of the chimp. But University of Pittsburgh anthropologist Jeffrey H. Schwartz refuses to ape the chorus of popular doctrine. In a recent study published in the Journal of Biogeography, he and John Grehan, director of science at the Buffalo Museum, produce fossil evidence that identifies our closest relative as the placid, arboreal red ape -- the orangutan. It represents an in-your-face refutation of the chimp camp in modern-day paleontology, evolution and anthropology. To advance the primate metaphor, the article has prompted strong opposition from the chimp camp, which accuses the orang camp of monkeying with scientific certitude. "As far as I know, and I know Jeff well, and we are friends, he and John Grehan are the only two scientists on the whole planet who subscribe to this red-ape hypothesis," said Todd Disotell, an anthropologist with New York University's Center for the Study of Human Origins. "I think he is utterly, factually wrong." Drs. Disotell and Schwartz are taking the orangutan harangue to an unlikely center stage: "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart recently interviewed them for an upcoming segment. Supporting the orang link, Drs. Schwartz and Grehan point to anatomical similarities between humans and orangs, including enamel molars, similar hairlines and shoulder blades, and even the ability to smile with lips closed. Even our skulls and eyebrow bone structure more closely resemble the orang's than the chimp's or gorilla's dramatically ridged eyebrows. Pitt anthropologist offers different opinion of
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This note was uploaded on 03/20/2010 for the course BIOCHEM 410 taught by Professor Whien during the Winter '10 term at Ohio State.

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Humans closest kin - Pitt anthropologist offers different opini NEWS SCIENCE Pitt anthropologist offers different opinion of humans closest kin

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