Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-03 > 1112298087

From: Philip Ritter <>
Subject: Re: Reply #2: [DNA] A Broad Genealogical Question: Bonobo & Chimpanzee mtDNA
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 11:41:27 -0800
References: <BAY103-F3A72BDB86BE958E2C1CE0CE460@phx.gbl><>
In-Reply-To: <>

I'd like to belatedly add a bit here. Although I don't have Russ's
background in primatology, I did take undergraduate seminars from Washburn
and Sarich many years ago at Berkeley. The split between Common
Chimpanzees and Bonobos is thought to be perhaps only two million years
ago, compared to the split between our ancestors and the Chimpanzee's
ancestors, which is estimated at anywhere from 5 (Sarich) to 8 million
years ago. As Russ pointed out, one should not necessarily think of one
branch as the "offshoot" splitting off from another "main branch", unless
you have strong reasons to believe that a larger population retained most
of the characteristics of the ancestral species, while a smaller
(split-off) population evolved into something quite different because of
drift, founder-effect or strong selective pressure. Each branch has had
the same amount of time to evolve since the speciation event millions of
years ago. The case has been made that Bonobos are more like the common
ancestor, even though their population is smaller today, because they
remained in a habitat more like the habitat of the common ancestor (see Whether they might also
have retained more of the characteristics of the common human-chimp
ancestor would be quite speculative, as there is no reason to think that
the chimpanzee ancestral line did not also evolve in the 3 to 6 million
years between when they split off from our ancestors and when they split
into common chimpanzees and bonobos.

Talk about deep ancestry...

At 01:01 PM 3/30/2005, Dale wrote:
>Hey Russ,
>Here's the other website that I mentioned. It's Daniele Formenti's
>Anthropology page.
>And here's the URL for the similar paleoanthropology webpage:
>And then there's the primatological webpage:
>>>Russ _ wrote:
>>>>Very informative and interesting posts. Thanks, Dale. Do you have any
>>>>recommendations of message boards, blogs, or other websites in order to
>>>>keep up with this sort of info.?
>>>>>From: "Dale E. Reddick" <>
>>>>>Subject: Reply #2: [DNA] A Broad Genealogical Question: Bonobo &
>>>>>Chimpanzee mtDNA
>>>>>Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 00:26:49 -0500
>>>>>Hey Russ,
>>>>>I forgot to mention that it has to be assumed that the Bonobos and
>>>>>Common Chimpanzees have also evolved independently and differently /
>>>>>divergently from our own, common ancestors. There really is no reason
>>>>>to assume that either or whichever of the several populations
>>>>>(species) of chimpanzee populations has any especial similarity to our
>>>>>common ancestor or to any particular early hominine species
>>>>>(Australopithecus, Ardipithecus, Paranthropus, early Homo, etc., etc.
>>>>>[there is a whole -plethora- of them]). I mean, why would anyone
>>>>>think that the modern coyote, jackal, dhole, or cape hunting dog
>>>>>resembles the ancestor of the modern wolf (although all are related).
>>>>>Dale E. Reddick, M.Sc.
>>>>>Russ _ wrote:
>>>>>>Can someone well versed in the mtdna jargon help me understand this
>>>>>>article ( see here: )?
>>>>>>I'm trying to figure out whether common chimps (pan troglodyte) is an
>>>>>>offshoot of bonobos (pan paniscus) or vice versa. I'm interested in
>>>>>>this from a broader genealogical perspective. I figure whichever the
>>>>>>ape, common chimp or bonobo, the one who represents the main branch
>>>>>>is the one our common ancestors, seven million years ago, most likley
>>>>>>resembled. My personal preference is for the common chimps, those
>>>>>>bonobos have very odd behavior:

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