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Darwinian DetectivesRevealing the Natural History of Genes and Genomes$
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Norman A. Johnson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306750

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306750.001.0001

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Are We the Third Chimpanzee?

Are We the Third Chimpanzee?

(p.117) 8 Are We the Third Chimpanzee?
Darwinian Detectives

Norman A. Johnson

Oxford University Press

Our closest living relatives are the great apes, but which of the many types of apes are we closest to? The evidence from most genes supports humans being the closest relatives to the two chimpanzee species (the common chimpanzee and the bonobo), with gorillas more distant to either the human or chimp lineages. There are, however, genes that seem to support different relationships. These differences in the evolutionary relationships from different genes may be real and not just artifacts of methodology or inadequate sampling. “Gene trees” may not reflect “species trees” because of population genetic processes. This chapter also includes results from recent studies of the chimpanzee genome, and explores what it means to share 98% of our DNA with chimps.

Keywords:   bonobo, DNA, evolutionary relationships, gene trees, genome, species trees

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