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Old January 7 2013, 03:27 PM   #4
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Re: Evolutionary biology questions...seems things have changed in 20 y

As I understand it, the change from "hominid" to "hominin" is a result of our understanding that humans are more closely related to other great apes than we used to think. We used to treat humans and great apes as separate taxonomic families, Hominidae and Pongidae respectively. But once we found out that chimpanzees were more closely related to humans than they were to gorillas and orangutans, we realized that was an invalid subdivision, that humans are actually a subset of the same family as the other great apes. So that family is now called Hominidae, which has two subfamilies, Homininae and Ponginae -- although there's still some debate about which one chimps and gorillas should be in.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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