Apes, Humans, and Molecular Clocks

A Reappraisal
  • J. E. Cronin
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


It has been over 100 years since T. H. Huxley wrote these words. Yet debate still centers on the exact genealogical relationships of apes and humans. The magnitude of this gap is of great concern. Fifteen years ago Sarich (1967) noted that the gap was “narrow yet deep.” Narrow in the sense that at the structural gene level, humans and the African apes are almost identical; deep because there are substantial morphological and profound behavioral differences between these close relatives. These differences may result from some few small genetic changes each with large phenotypic effects. An examination of the evidence of the genetic differences among the living species can place into perspective the nature of the gap separating hominids from other hominoids.


Fossil Record Molecular Clock World Monkey Gorilla Gorilla Early Hominid 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. E. Cronin
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Anthropology and Biology, Peabody MuseumHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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