Ouranopithecus et la date de séparation des hominoïdes modernes

Louis de BONIS & George D. KOUFOS

fr Comptes Rendus Palevol 3 (4) - Pages 257-264

Published on 31 July 2004

This article is a part of the thematic issue The first hominids

Ouranopithecus and dating the splitting of the extant hominoids

Studies of molecular biology allow us to calculate distances between the living beings from differences that they present at the molecular level. They are expressed by a set of dichotomies, which represent their phyletic relationships. While leaning on certain paleontological data that specify the geological age of one of dichotomies, these studies aim to give the date of all another one (molecular clock). Whatever is the used method, results are in agreement with regard to the phylogeny but very variable, for what is dating. The hominoïd primate Ouranopithecus has some derived characters shared with australopithecines, and therefore with humans. So it must be placed into the clade of the Homininae with them. Insofar the separation of the human clade and the one of chimps should be older than this fossil, that is to say older than 9.6 Ma.


Molecular clock, Primates, Hominoidea, Late Miocene, Ouranopithecus

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