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Comparative Study
, 289 (4), 139-57

Mona Lisa Smile: The Morphological Enigma of Human and Great Ape Evolution

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Comparative Study

Mona Lisa Smile: The Morphological Enigma of Human and Great Ape Evolution

John R Grehan. Anat Rec B New Anat.

Abstract

The science of human evolution is confronted with the popular chimpanzee theory and the earlier but largely ignored orangutan theory. The quality and scope of published documentation and verification of morphological features suggests there is very little in morphology to support a unique common ancestor for humans and chimpanzees. A close relationship between humans and African apes is currently supported by only eight unproblematic characters. The orangutan relationship is supported by about 28 well-supported characters, and it is also corroborated by the presence of orangutan-related features in early hominids. The uniquely shared morphology of humans and orangutans raises doubts about the almost universal belief that DNA sequence similarities necessarily demonstrate a closer evolutionary relationship between humans and chimpanzees. A new evolutionary reconstruction is proposed for the soft tissue anatomy, physiology, and behavioral biology of the first hominids that includes concealed ovulation, male beard and mustache, prolonged mating, extended pair-bonding, "house" construction, mechanical "genius," and artistic expression.

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