Molecular Clocks: Determining the Age of the Human–Chimpanzee Divergence
Published Online: 30 APR 2008
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
How to Cite
Jensen-Seaman, M. I. and Hooper-Boyd, K. A. 2008. Molecular Clocks: Determining the Age of the Human–Chimpanzee Divergence. eLS. .
- Published Online: 30 APR 2008
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The approximate clocklike nature of the accumulation of nucleotide substitutions (the ‘molecular clock’) allows for the estimation of the time of divergence between modern species, dependent on calibrating the clock with known divergence dates from the fossil record. The molecular clock gives dates of approximately 6–8 million years ago for the human–chimpanzee divergence, in general agreement with the palaeontological evidence.
- molecular clock;
- human evolution;