Hominoid split and other questions

Garry Stevens (garry@arch.su.edu.au)
Fri, 10 Nov 1995 17:20:19 +1000

Having lurked here a while, read Mr Foley's page and other bits and
pieces, I have a few simple questions (as an interested layperson):

* What is the most recent known/suspected common ancestor to living apes
and the hominids? Haven't been able to get a straight answer from the
various pieces I've read.

* People sometimes talk about several significant gaps in the
hominid/homonoid fossil record. What are the time-periods for these? Is
one of these gaps right where we would expect to find the hominoid/hominid

* Mr Foley mentions that previously the ape-hominid split was taken as 15+
Mya, perhaps up to 30+ Mya. Biochem evidence revises this to 5-10 Mya. I
presume the prior estimates were derived purely from fossil evidence. If
the genetic dating evidence is now widely accepted, how could the physical
anthropologists have been so out of whack?

Apologies for the simplistic nature of these queries. The tedious AAT
discussions here seem to have drowned much more interesting and important

Garry Stevens
Dept of Architectural Science
University of Sydney