Molecular and “adaptive” evolution, cladistic and phylogeny. Supplementations to a working hypothesis
The methods of molecular biology and morpholo for the taxonomical assessment have given in several cases very different results. The following examples are discussed: Ailuropoda melanoleuca as an ursoid member of the Carnivora (Ursidae or Ailuropodidae?), Homo saiens and his position to the African apes (Pan and Gorilla) (Pongidae or Hominidae?), Theroipithecus gelada and its affinities to the baboons (Papionini or Theropithecini ?) and Oreopithecus bambolii from the late Miocene of Italy and its taxonomical position within the catarrhine primates.
For the three extant species not only the “two level evolution” (molecular and morphological-adaptative evolution) is evident, but also the working hypothesis, that the “adaptative” evolution is more rapidly as the molecular evolution, as the author is suggesting since 1969. The results of molecular methods (immunoloy, amino acid sequences, electrophoresis, DNA-DNA hybridization) are more important for the phylogeny than for the taxonomy.
For the cladistic method it is clear, that a cladogram is not a phylogenetic tree, as suggested Peter Ax (1984).