Re: Orangs as Closest

Matthew O. Fraser (
Thu, 01 Aug 1996 23:23:00 -0400

In article <>, Bob Keeter
<> wrote:

> (Matthew O. Fraser) wrote:

> >Anyone up on the hypothesis that Orangs are humans' closest extant relative?
> >
> >I did my undergraduate training with Jeffrey Schwartz at Pitt, and he
> >authored a book on the subject, but it was a couple of years after I
> >graduated.
> >
> >How do you folks feel about it?
> >
> Absolutely! It was that set of Devonian footprints, exactly matching
> a modern orang's, bipedally running up to the edge of a cliff and
> leaping boldly into the lake for liesurely swim that gave it all away!
> 8-)))))) Hehehe

Hi Bob,

I take it that you don't think that it's a tenable hypothesis. :)

You mention bipedalism. What if the split occured prior to bipedality?
What if the Orang ancestry remained/became more specialized for arboreal
existance? Chimps aren't bipedal either. While they can do it (so can
Orangs), their pelves are not in any way designed for it.

I'm not up on the recent findings, haven't really been up on this stuff
for around 10 years now. Most of my "current" info comes from National
Geographic and documentaries. That's why I'm pretty excited about this

Back to the question at hand. Closest extant relatives do not *have* to
outwardly look the most like us, they could have diverged after the split,
while more distant relatives may have maintained a more overall similar
morphological suite of characteristics, the "primitive" traits. Kind of
like 5 digits of the generalized skeleton. While the closer relatives may
share another set of derived traits. Finally each unique group has it's
own derived characters. Maybe this is the case for the hominid/Pan/Pongo

Like I said, I'm not saying I know the answer, here. That's why I asked
the question. I'll put you down for a "No Way".

Thanks for the laugh!


PS - I tried to respond to the email version of your post, but couldn't
get through to your server. Is your address correct above?

Matthew O. Fraser "If you can't answer a man's
Department of Pharmacology arguments, all is not lost.
School of Medicine You may still call him
University of Pittsburgh vile names"
Pittsburgh, PA 15261 John Homans