Re: Change from 48 to 46 chromosomes

the skeptic (
Sat, 14 Oct 95 21:56:36 CDT

In article <45povd$>
Alex Duncan <> writes:

>Someone raised the issue of whether or not humans are apes. "Ape" is a
>term that has never been well-defined, and is really part of a folk
>taxonomy. Until quite recently the terms "ape" and "monkey" were used
>interchangably -- in fact they still are used indiscriminantly by the lay
>Whether or not humans are apes depends on how you define apes. If apes =
>Hominoidea, then humans are apes. If apes are all hominoids except
>humans, then obviously...
>It's useful to have a term for all hominoids but humans, because humans
>are us, and we're so different from the other hominoids. "Apes" is
>potentially such a term. However, we then have to recognize that "ape"
>is a paraphyletic taxon.

Give me a break, please! Apes, as we know them, the lesser apes that includes
the gibbons and siamangs and the great apes that include what we normally
think of as apes...the pongids....and humans are all of the superfamily
Hominoids. The 'lesser apes' are of family Hylobatid, the great apes are of
family Pongids and the 'other apes (humans..I mean )' are of family
Hominid. We are all anthropoids, the apes, the monkeys, etc.
In other words, the term for all hominoids includes humans and is called
Hominoid. We are no more different from the other hominoids than they are
from each other.

Must have been a slow day at UT. Just like it is here.

>necessarily a barrier to interbreeding, BTW. There are species in which
>the chromosome no. is variable, with no impact on fertility.
Go to Atlanta and see the siabons with their odd numbered chromosomes. The sia
mang and gibbon that mated to produce the siabon had different number of
chromosomes and so obviously that is not necessarily a barrier to fertility.
However, how is the siabon going to mate with its' odd lot of chromosomes?
Fun to think about.

Karen (the skeptic)...Hey, I only post here because I know none of my
professors read this newsgroup!