Harrison, Terry Department of Anthropology, Paleoanthropology Laboratory, New York University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Evolutionary history
- Proconsulids and dendropithecids
- Early African hominoids
- Eurasian hominoids
- African hominoids
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Fossil members of the group of primates constituting the apes. Apes and humans are closely related primates in the superfamily Hominoidea. The living hominoids are subdivided into the families Hylobatidae and Hominidae. The hylobatids, or lesser apes (genus Hylobates), are represented by approximately nine species found throughout Southeast Asia. Humans and the great apes—the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), the gorilla (Gorilla gorilla), the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), and the pygmy chimpanzee or bonobo (Pan paniscus)—are grouped in the Hominidae. In the past, the great apes were included in a separate family, the Pongidae, but subsequent anatomical and molecular studies showed that the African apes (Gorilla and Pan) are more closely related to humans than they are to the Asian orangutan. See also: Apes; Fossil humans; Fossil primates; Mammalia; Monkey; Primates
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