Genetic Perspectives on Ape and Human Evolution

Todd R. Disotell

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter discusses the genetic perspectives on ape and human evolution. The first genetic perspective on ape evolution and human evolution was put forth over 100 years ago. Two primary hypotheses have been put forth to explain modern human origins, multiregionalism and recent replacement. Molecular data have contributed enormously to the understanding of hominoid and hominin evolution. They provide information about how species are related, the timing of divergences and demographic history. The relative ease of determination of homology, compared to morphological traits, of molecular data, especially specific genomic regions such as Alu elements, makes phylogenetic inferences quite robust. With well-calibrated divergence points inferred from the better parts of the fossil record, molecular clock estimates for lineages with a poor fossil record can be made.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationA Companion to Paleoanthropology
    PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Print)9781444331165
    StatePublished - Jan 14 2013


    • Ape evolution
    • DNA sequencing
    • Genetic data
    • Human evolution
    • Molecular data

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences


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