A Phylogeny of Living Hominoids

This phylogenetic tree of living hominoids is based on DNA-DNA hybridization data (the work of Charles Sibley and Jon Ahlquist at Yale University).

Link to a description of the
DNA-DNA hybridization method.

The numbers represent the differences between various measured T50H values split up and apportioned to each branch.

For example, the T50H difference between the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the pygmy chimpanzee or bonobo (Pan paniscus) is 0.7. Assuming that their DNA has evolved at the same rate since they diverged, each branch is given one-half that value.

The difference between the T50H values of humans and the chimpanzees is about 1.7, whereas that between the chimpanzees and the gorilla is 2.3. This indicates that humans and chimpanzees have shared a common ancestor more recently than chimpanzees and gorillas have.

The time scale was calibrated using fossil evidence that the line to the orangutan diverged some 13–16 million years ago.

The Human and Chimpanzee Genomes

Now that it is possible to make more direct comparisons between the two species.

The results:

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1 April 2004