Humans, Evidence from molecular biology

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Summary

Modern humans (Homo sapiens or Homo sapiens sapiens) are the only extant members of the hominin clade, a branch of great apes characterized by erect posture and bipedal locomotion; manual dexterity and increased tool use; and a general trend toward larger, more complex brains and societies. Early hominids, such as the australopithecines who had more apelike brains and skulls, are less often thought of or referred to as "human" than hominids of the genus Homo some of whom used fire, occupied much of Eurasia, and gave rise to [[anatomically modern humans|anatomic

Details

The closest living relatives of humans are chimpanzees (genus Pan) and gorillas (genus Gorilla). With the sequencing of both the human and chimpanzee genome, current estimates of similarity between human and chimpanzee DNA sequences range between 95% and 99%. By using the technique called a molecular clock which estimates the time required for the number of divergent mutations to accumulate between two lineages, the approximate date for the split between lineages can be calculated. The gibbons (Hylobatidae) and orangutans (genus Pongo) were the first groups to split from the line leading to the humans, then gorillas (genus Gorilla) followed by the chimpanzees and bonobos (genus Pan). The splitting date between human and chimpanzee lineages is placed around 4–8 million years ago during the late Miocene epoch.

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External Links

  • WikipediaArchaeology InfoHomo sapiens

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