Williams, Scott A. Department of Anthropology, New York University, New York, New York.
- Ardipithecus ramidus
- Ardipithecus kadabba
- Orrorin tugenensis
- Sahelanthropus tchadensis
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A major issue in paleoanthropology concerns the ability to identify the first members of our evolutionary lineage, the earliest hominins (see illustration). Based on both genetic and morphological studies, it is well established that hominins are closely related to the African apes, especially to the panins (chimpanzees and bonobos). Coupled with the fragmentary nature of the fossil record, the morphological similarities among fossil specimens, extant African great apes, and extinct Miocene hominoids make it exceedingly difficult to distinguish the earliest hominins from other hominoid lineages.
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