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Evidence of a chimpanzee-sized ancestor of humans but a gibbon-sized ancestor of apes

Grabowski, M and Jungers, WL (2017) Evidence of a chimpanzee-sized ancestor of humans but a gibbon-sized ancestor of apes. Nature Communications, 8. ISSN 2041-1723

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Abstract

Body mass directly affects how an animal relates to its environment and has a wide range of biological implications. However, little is known about the mass of the last common ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees, hominids (great apes and humans), or hominoids (all apes and humans), which is needed to evaluate numerous paleobiological hypotheses at and prior to the root of our lineage. Here we use phylogenetic comparative methods and data from primates including humans, fossil hominins, and a wide sample of fossil primates including Miocene apes from Africa, Europe, and Asia to test alternative hypotheses of body mass evolution. Our results suggest, contrary to previous suggestions, that the LCA of all hominoids lived in an environment that favored a gibbon-like size, but a series of selective regime shifts, possibly due to resource availability, led to a decrease and then increase in body mass in early hominins from a chimpanzee-sized LCA.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Science & Technology; Multidisciplinary Sciences; Science & Technology - Other Topics; LAST COMMON ANCESTOR; BODY-MASS; DIVERGENCE TIMES; MIOCENE HOMINIDS; AFRICAN APE; EVOLUTION; DIMORPHISM; PROCONSUL; ORIGINS; PROPORTIONS
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2019 08:37
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2019 08:45
DOI or Identification number: 10.1038/s41467-017-00997-4
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11458

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