SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Late divergence hypothesis;
  • Dryopithecus;
  • Sivapithecus;
  • Australopithecus;
  • Homo;
  • Extant great apes;
  • Origins

Abstract

The possibility of a Middle-Late Miocene separation of the human lineage from the lineages leading to the extant great apes, based on paleontological and phenetic evidence, is presented. Middle Miocene Sivapithecus, rather then Early Miocene Dryopithecus, is supported as a last common ancestor of Pongo, Pan, Gorilla, and Homo. Estimates for the branching of the lineages are a maximum of 15 m.y.a. for the Pongo lineage and a range from 14-6 m.y.a. for the Pan, Gorilla, and Ausralopithecus/Homo lineages. Weaknesses of the late divergence hypothesis are discussed.