Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Saturday, October 10, 2015

On the molecular "Clock" and divergence of humans, chimps and gorillas

I have written several posts on my doubts about the molecular "clock" used to calculate events such as the split between Homo sapiens and Neandertal or the Out Of Africa event. (see some examples here and here), today I came across a recent paper that proposes an earlier date for the split between humans, chimps and gorillas.

broken clock

This notion had been put forth by Langerbraber et al., (2012) Generation times in wild chimpanzees and gorillas suggest earlier divergence times in great ape and human evolution [Vol. 109 no. 39 15716–15721, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1211740109], who calculated a split date for Humans, Chimpanzees and Gorillas between 9.35 and 20 million years ago vs. the commonly accepted figure of 6.69 Mya (see Table 2 in their paper).

The more recent work, by David Begun of the University of Toronto in Canada, suggests that the Dryopithecus apes which lived in Europe 12.5 million years ago are part of the great apes and that this moves the chimp-human split back to 10 Mya.

This will mean, if proven true by other studies, that the dates of other more recent events will have to be reviewed, and that the reliability of molecular clocks should not be taken for granted.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2015 by Austin Whittall © 

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