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Protection of this page?[edit]

I have given up vandalizing to try and have this page protected. This could be a page that could be vandalized when people who cant vandalize the Human page follow the link that comes to here. I wont ever vandalize again if this page gets protected for users to edit only. (talk) 20:22, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

A rather original argument for protection. No, we only semi-protect when excessive and persistent vandalism actually occurs, which doesn't seem to be the case here. Ucucha 20:30, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree, vandalism is not as persistent on this page as on some of the others on my watchlist that have yet to be protected. I can't see a compelling case here. Anaxial (talk) 20:40, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Bili Ape?[edit]

Should the Bili Ape be introduced into this article? Just questioning if this would make sound sense.--Senor Freebie (talk) 06:49, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Why? It is currently an unclassified population of unknown ancestry. If it is ever classified, I'm sure it will be someplace in Hominidae, it seems to be too soon for it to be included in this article. -
Just checking. Don't know much about them.--Senor Freebie (talk) 06:48, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Is it still unclassified? Unrecognized? Maybe it is still relatively new. I may make bold inclusions of them .--Jondel (talk) 08:49, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Confused by History section[edit]

The History section seems to deal only with the Hominina, mentioning other hominids only in terms of their divergence from human ancestry. This is confusing, as well as being incomplete in scope.

Also, the subsection History|Taxonomic history begins:

The classification of the great apes has been revised several times in the last few decades. Originally, the group was restricted to humans and their extinct relatives...

This too is confusing. I suspect it should read "The classification of the family Hominidae..."

Aside from these specific problems This entire section could probably use editing for clarity and completeness, but I'm not familiar enough with the subject to undertake it.

Tapatio (talk) 17:23, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

You are right, the first section under History needs a lot of expansion.
The reason the taxonomic section starts out the way it does is given in the second sentence: "Originally, the group was restricted to humans and their extinct relatives, with the other great apes being placed in a separate family, the Pongidae." Also read the very first sentence of the article: "The Hominidae (anglicized hominids, also known as great apes)..." For some clarity, read Hominoidea#History_of_hominoid_taxonomy. - UtherSRG (talk) 17:57, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

"Great apes" or "hominids"?[edit]

I noticed that recently "great ape" was changed to "hominid" as the plain-language term used in this article for Hominidae, but that these changes were quickly reverted. I understand that there has been some contention about the use of common vs. scientific classification - and in general I am in favor of the use of common names - but I thought that the change from "great ape" to "hominid" was a good one. I would argue that "great ape" is rather imprecise a synonym for Hominidae because it is often understood to exclude humans, and that "hominid" is both a precise synonym and commonly understood. It may be less commonly used than "great ape" but it is also less subject to misunderstanding, and in any case its meaning is made clear at the beginning of the article. Tapatio (talk) 17:59, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

I propose reverting to the revision dated 07:21, 26 March 2010 by Ano-User, to use "hominid" rather than "great ape" throughout as a plain-language term to refer to Hominidae. If anyone has objections (or concurrences) please voice them. Tapatio (talk) 18:03, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
There's some lack of precision in the use of "hominid", too, because of the fluctuation of the membership of this family. I prefer the article remain using "great ape". - UtherSRG (talk) 06:54, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't really understand that rationale, as the term "great ape" is even less precise and has also changed, and arguably more. "Hominid" has changed in meaning only to reflect the change in the classification of Hominidae. "Great ape" initially referred to what were previously classed as Ponginae - all non-human apes. My point is that the terms were not originally synonymous, and the meaning of "great ape" seems the more ambiguous of the two. I'm not against the term "great ape" evolving in meaning, but in actual practice it is most commonly used to refer to the non-human apes, which is actually linguistically useful, even though it may not relect evolutionary relationship as we now understand them. The only purpose I can think of that recommends the use of "great apes" is to smack the reader in the face with a realization of their biological relationship to the other apes, and I can appreciate that emotionally. I suspect that there are people that might be offended by being included among the apes, and my personal feeling is that they need to get over that. I think, however, that the priority here should be clear factual explanation, and that the terminology we used should be that which is is most likely to be correctly understood.Tapatio (talk) 15:12, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
In the beginning of the article itself, it says that "hominid" is the anglicized version of "hominidae," and is apparently a synonym for "great ape" (although I believe that the genus Homo is somewhat different from the apes all together). "Hominid" seems to better correlate with the name of the article than "great ape" does, even though great ape is mentioned as a synonym and in a foot note. This is precisely the reason why I changed the names from "great ape" to "hominid" in the sub-sections. Whatever the "fluctuation of membership" within the family Hominidae is, I'm sure naming it another, more precise, synonym (such as "hominid") won't take away that membership, linguistically or genetically. -Ano-User (talk) 15:37, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
See Hominoidea (particularly the history section) and hominid. The term "great ape" has expanded only to included the human branch, while "hominid" used to only be the human branch.... the more common term has changed less, while the more specific term (hominid) has changed more and is used in multiple ways, including the older concepts. - UtherSRG (talk) 17:00, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
As I have argued concerning the name change of the article from Great Ape to' 'Hominidae, the term hominid would be of more educational use than "Great Apes" would be since the article itself admits in note 1 that "'great ape' is a common name rather than a taxonomic label and there are differences in usage." This is why I changed the words "great ape" to "hominid" before it was reverted back to "great ape." The Hominid article is well written, but it fails to cite any recent changes regarding the modern usage of the term. The Hominoidea article is redirected to the Ape article, but uses the terms "hominid" or "hominoid" frequently, even though hominid is used by some to refer to humans and our closest fossil ancestors. -Ano-User (talk) 04:37, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't know, maybe I'm used to the old terms and am a little bit more old school, but contentions are still coming up about the classification of humans as great apes. I feel that "great ape" should be liberally used within the article, and also within the other related articles. I'm not a supporter of the Great ape personhood movement, although I am in full support of its intention to preserve great apes. Taking the Hominid article's advice, "the meaning of the taxon changed gradually, leading to the modern meaning of 'hominid,' which includes all great apes." -Ano-User (talk) 04:37, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

At UtherSRG's suggestion, I took a look at the Hominoidea article (which, incidentally had been moved by UtherSRG to Ape). It also includes humans among the apes - which I really have no problem with - but it does so in a way that is less likely to confuse the reader. In fact, it clearly states that: "Due to its ambiguous nature, the term ape has been deemphasized in favor of Hominoidea as a means of describing taxonomic relationships." The real problem with using "great ape" is that "ape" has been understood since Old English to exclude humans. That is still its common meaning, even among those who understand the current views about the biological relationships involved. I think this is unlikely to change anytime soon, because the "non-human ape" category remains linguistically useful. Most of the ambiguities about "hominid" arise from the recent (and perhaps ongoing) shakeups in the classificatory system, but that is a problem with the term "Hominidae" itself. It may not have been a good idea to suddenly dump all of the great apes into the category that had previously been used for what is now classed as a subtribe within that family (hominina). In spite of those problems "hominid" remains a commonly used Anglicization of the subject of the article, and I think the best term to use here. Tapatio (talk) 12:53, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I would not argue that the Hominoidea article should have remained called Hominoidea, but it is good that the Old English meaning of "ape" is noticed within the articles itself. However, I would argue that the placement of the genus Homo as synonymous with "apes" is controversial. Until recently, the genome of Humans and chimpanzees was thought to be 98% to 99% identical, per Mary-Claire King (1973), but a 2006 study shows that the commonalities are reduced to only 95% to 94%; "close but not that close" [emphasis added]
But that is just one out of several, more obvious, differences that I would like to point out when I get the time. In general, I liken the comparison of chimps and humans to that of the Felidae family of the feliforms in which different genera are able to interbreed, but chimps and humans, who are like wise in different genera (but of hominids), cannot. Apparently, DNA is "sticky" between similar species and more similar genera within the Felidae, but not in Hominids. Why is this? (that is a rhetorical question) -Ano-User (talk) 03:09, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Actually, we don't really know whether chimps and humans can interbreed. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 16:48, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't see any controversy. It is undisputed that great apes in common usage doesn't include Homo, and it is also undisputed that Homo is a genus of Hominidae. I don't see a problem. Nobody is placing "the genus Homo as synonymous with 'apes'", I don't know what you're talking about. --dab (𒁳) 12:41, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

To clarify, dab, are you weighing in for or against the use of "great apes" as a synonym for "Hominidae"? Tapatio (talk) 17:30, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Oreopithecus Classification[edit]

This article states that Oreopithecus is classified in the subfamily Homininae as an extinct human ancestor. However, since the Wikipedia article on that genus says that hypothesis is highly contested, I clarified that point in this article. Since I am not a scientist, someone with the appropriate experience should take care of this problem.-constantthinker —Preceding unsigned comment added by Constantthinker (talkcontribs) 06:18, 25 July 2010 (UTC)


I removed the indication "hominid status highly problematic" from Sahelanthropus. First, because the critics to the hypothesis that S. is closely related to humans are, at best, not better supported than the hypothesis itself ("controversial" would be a more appropriate expression); second, because if the critics are right, S. would still be related to the gorilla, thus belonging to Hominidae. (talk) 21:08, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

I think "hominid" is also sometimes (and confusingly) used to refer to Hominina (everything that is closer to humans than to chimps), reflective of an earlier definition of Hominidae. Ucucha 21:26, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Use of the term "great ape"[edit]

The article continues to violate WP:NPOV in presenting and adopting only one use of the term "great ape", namely the use which includes humans. Any accurate dispassionate survey of the literature will show that the common names "ape" and "great ape" are used both to exclude and to include humans. Different sources use the terms differently, and the same source is usually inconsistent (including Dawkins – see User:Peter_coxhead/Work_page#Dawkins' use of "ape" and Benton – see the last paragraph of Primate#Historical and modern terminology). The note about different usages is itself biassed: "Subtly, it may seem to exclude human beings" – "Subtly" is an editorial comment, and it does not "seem" to exclude human beings: in one of the two usages it does exclude human beings. Both usages need to be presented clearly in the article. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:04, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

In previous discussions, the relative merits of the common names "Great Apes" vs "Hominid" have been debated and both have been found to have issues due to variable meanings at present, and even more varied meanings historically. I agree that Note 1 could use a slight clean-up to be more cut and dry (which I just made). As for the bulk of the article, I think more discussion is warranted. Karatorian (talk) 17:28, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

This article about Great Apes is referring to the classification of Hominidae, not the different uses or meanings of the term "ape." Taxonomically, humans fall under this group because of the similar genetic and anatomical features we share with gorillas, chimps, and orangutans. That is what taxonomy is about, grouping organisms into groups based on genetic and anatomical similarities. Thus, humans are great apes no matter the colloquial usage of the term "ape" or "great ape" Cadiomals (talk) 05:36, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
The term "Hominidae" is a taxonomic one. The taxon is clearly circumscribed in current usage (although this has changed so old uses need to be mentioned). So there is no doubt that humans belong to Hominidae, as currently defined. No up-to-date reliable source suggests otherwise. "Great ape" is not a taxonomic term. Some authors now use "great ape" to mean "hominid". Others don't. Most are inconsistent as per User:Peter_coxhead/Work_page#Dawkins' use of "ape". The usage and thus meaning of "great ape" cannot be established by reference to taxonomy; common names are not regulated by any code of nomenclature. So in respect of common names a Wikipedia article must maintain WP:NPOV. It doesn't matter what I think or what you think or what anyone else thinks, only what usage can be sourced. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:08, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Humans and orang-utans[edit]

An alternative minority viewpoint is that Homo diverged from a common ancestor with Pongo perhaps as early as 13 million years ago, while Pan is more closely related to Gorilla. This alternative is supported by characteristics uniquely shared between humans and orangutans, such as dental structure, thick enamel, shoulder blade structure, thick posterior palate, single incisive foramen, high estriol production, and beard and mustache. There are at least 28 such well-corroborated features compared with perhaps as few as one unique feature shared between humans and chimpanzees. It is widely believed that these physical features are misleading, but an alternative possibility is that orangutans have undergone more genetic change than humans and African apes have since their divergence from the common ancestor. If this had happened, then the apparent genetic similarity between humans and chimpanzees would not necessarily be due to a close evolutionary relationship. [...] This hypothesis has been proposed as an explanation as to why early hominids, such as the australopiths, not only look more like orangutans than either African ape, but also share characters unique to orangutans and their close fossil relatives, such as a thickened posteror palate and anterior zygomatic roots. [...]

The obvious solution to this observation is that the most recent common ancestor of Homo and Pan (and the MRCA of Homo, Pan and Gorilla) resembled Pongo more than Pan morphologically or phenotypically, which would make the pongid characteristics in humans primitive traits, rather than derived traits (which indeed would point to a closer evolutionary relationship between Homo and Pongo). Therefore, not only humans, but also chimpanzees and gorillas are highly derived and have all changed from their more orang-utan-like form only relatively recently, according to this solution. In fact, that modern chimps are highly derived seems to be the current consensus in primatology, anyway. This would also help explain the difficulty of finding early chimpanzees or chimp ancestors in the fossil record.

Interestingly, Chimpanzee#Fossils, referring to Dawkins' The Ancestor's Tale, and Homininae#Paranthropus and gorillas suggest the possibility that chimps and perhaps even gorillas branched off from the line that led to Homo more recently than commonly thought, specifically that they derived from australopithecines. This would require either than australopithecines were not really fully bipedal, or that chimps and perhaps also gorillas lost obligatory bipedality again in their recent evolutionary history, which would reinforce the idea that they are more derived than is assumed by laypeople at least. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:49, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

This is one of many examples which could be quoted where the current scientific consensus is to prioritize molecular evidence over morphology. Rearguard actions are being fought in some quarters, but I haven't seen any evidence of them prevailing. Peter coxhead (talk) 18:15, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
But remember that I said if the (most recent) common ancestors of chimps and humans (the group called Hominini) resembled orang-utans more than chimps, the contradiction between molecular evidence and morphology would disappear. It's simply the automatic assumption that the common ancestors of the Hominini looked and were in many ways just (or at least more) like chimps which is worth questioning.
This video, which highlights similarities between bonobos and humans, serves as a powerful reminder that chimps are not that "primitive" (as in basal), but also highly derived, i. e., evolved: they didn't stagnate for millions of years, either. And the way that bonobos are capable to learn to use and even produce stone tools like the earliest Oldowan stone tools from 2.5 million years ago reinforces the thought that chimps might in fact have branched off later, since according to conventional thinking, only hominans, i. e., (possibly) australopithecines and, in any case, members of Homo used such tools.
Alternatively, the molecular clock results are broadly correct, and superficial morphological or behavioral similarities are either shared retentions (for example, the basic ability to use and produce stone tools could have been present in the ancestors already, but they did not produce stone tools at that point, or none that are preserved or which we recognise, or perhaps they just didn't because they didn't feel the need, or they didn't come up with the idea on their own – one wonders if bonobos have ever fashioned stone tools in the wild) or convergences (for example, bonobos could simply have evolved the intelligence needed to learn to use and produce stone tools in parallel to the human line). But it is sure interesting to notice that bonobos seem to have cognitive capabilities at least equal to australopithecines, and underscores that they should not simply be thought of as an exact representation of what our common ancestors were like. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:56, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

potential resource[edit]

(Opinion) Fearing a Planet Without Apes by John C. Mitani (professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan) published August 20, 2011 New York Times Also on coverstory of December 12, 2011 issue of The New York Times Upfront "A Planet without Apes? why our closest animal relatives may be on the road to extinction", pages 6 & 7. (talk) 23:21, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Not NPOV Tag dated October 2011[edit]

I was wondering if you could be more specific about this tag. What parts do you find not NPOV? Is it possible to localize this tag? The reason I ask is that, of all WP articles I have looked at, this one has come the farthest. When I last saw it a few years ago whether or not man was a great ape was consuming the entire discussion. Any changes made, any tags put on, were being almost immediately reverted. Now I find it has got a whole lot more scientific. We have finally got around to distinguishing scientific from non-scientific terms. It looks to me like previously unhoped for progress has been made. So, I do not think the whole article deserves the tag. Perhaps you could give us some pointers as to which parts you consider non-NPOV? It seems to me based on past resolutions and progresses it might be possible to resolve this question. If it has already been resolved then someone forgot to take off the tag.Dave (talk) 02:57, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree with you that real progress has been made recently. When the tag was put there (a) the article had more POV-pushing over the use of the term "great ape" than it does now (b) when sensible changes were made there were immediate reversions. However, it seems to me that there is still a strong attempt to impose the terminology "great apes" = "hominids", rather than reflect the usage of relevant sources. Why does the article begin with the statement "The Hominidae (... anglicized hominids, also known as great apes), as the term is used here"? Why "as the term is used here"? This is a bit of a give-away that the article is not reflecting usage but imposing it. So I think that we aren't there yet. Peter coxhead (talk) 22:09, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

File:Austrolopithecus africanus.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Eating cooked food for a million years?[edit]

The Physical Description section states “Human teeth and jaws are markedly smaller for their size than those of other apes, which may be an adaptation to eating cooked food for more than a million years,” but the cited evidence (at least that available online) does not support this claim. The article cited is about post-pleistocene changes in human dentition. The Pleistocene ended a little over 10,000 years ago, so the evidence points towards a change in diet 10,000 years old rather than 1,000,000 years old. Maybe someone can find some better evidence for the million-year assertion? Or perhaps the million year figure should be deleted? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:31, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

We've been eating meat since much farther back than the Neolithic[edit]

I know you don't know me from Eve, but I'm a bit nonplussed that this article presents human consumption of meat as only having occurred since the Neolithic, when we all here know better than that. I was going to change it, but I don't feel like dredging up sources that Wikipedia would find acceptable and don't feel like getting into a holy war with the vegans. Can someone please take the time and effort, if you're bored and have nothing better to do, and correct this egregious oversight?

By the way, chimpanzees hunt also, which I notice was not mentioned either.

This sort of thing is why Wikipedia is blown off as a credible resource. (talk) 22:22, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Meaning of "chimpanzees"[edit]

To be consistent with the Ape article, the genus Pan should be described as "chimpanzees and bonobos". The term "pygmy chimpanzee" instead of "bonobo", which would justify the use of "chimpanzees" to cover both species, isn't favoured nowadays as can be taken to suggest that bonobos are not a separate species but just a subspecies or other variant of the chimpanzee. Peter coxhead (talk) 23:16, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

I'd suggest that, if this is the case, the article chimpanzee really needs to be changed, since that's what we're currently linking to in the page. If the chimpanzee article is changed, I have no problem. But at the moment, this article is explicitly stating that bonobos both are, and are not chimpanzees (by linking to another article that says they are the same, and then, later in the same sentence, saying that they're not). What we need is consistency, and we don't currently have that. I have no particular preference for which consistent version we use, but I really dislike the idea of enforced inconsistency. Anaxial (talk) 18:30, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree that it's not straightforward, which is why I suggested discussing on the talk page. Given that Wikipedia should describe not prescribe, the Chimpanzee article should explain both uses: the older usage in which chimpanzee = the genus Pan, i.e. the common chimpanzee and the pygmy chimpanzee; the modern usage in which chimpanzee = common chimpanzee with bonobo = pygmy chimpanzee. But I don't see that in articles like Ape or Hominidae we need to explain both uses; in these articles I would suggest keeping to what seems to be the preferred modern usage. Alternatively both could be explained. I can't see any justification for just using the older terminology. (This is a good example of the advantages of using scientific names as article titles, as WP:PLANTS prefers.) Peter coxhead (talk) 01:51, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
If that's the case, shouldn't we link to common chimpanzee, instead of to chimpanzee, since that's the sense of the word we're using? The current text is still inconsistent, and I don't think that's a good idea. I'd also suggest starting a Move discussion on chimpanzee, (and possibly also common chimpanzee) if you think the page has the wrong title for its subject matter. Anaxial (talk) 19:13, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, if you want to argue that all the other articles need fixing before using the "and bonobos" form here, I don't agree, but it's a rational argument. I just wanted to be sure that your reversion was discussed. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:19, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

We need to change the classification scheme[edit]

Wikipedia currently employs a classification suggested by Mann & Weiss (1991) which has not gained wide currency. Specifically it is very uncommon to include Pan in Hominini. A more widespread taxonomy is that by Wood and Richmond 2000. Wood in Blackwell Companion to Biological Anthropologyrefers to the classification by Bradley as a consensus classification (it excludes Pan from Hominini):

  • Bradley, B. J. (2008) Reconstructing Phylogenies and Phenotypes: A Molecular View of Human Evolution. Journal of Anatomy 212: 337–353.
Stanford, Allen and Anton's 3rd edition of "Biological Anthropology" (2012) also uses this classification. It seems clear that Weiss and mann's classification has become obsolete and should not be used as the basis for our articles.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:33, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

New Classification[edit]

I propose we use this "consensus classification" based on Bradley 2008, and represented by Wood (2010) in the Blackwell Companion to Bio. Anth. page 66. Superfamily Hominoidea

Family Hylobatidae
Genus Hylobates
Family Hominidae
Subfamily Ponginae
Genus Pongo
Subfamily Gorillinae
Genus Gorilla
Subfamily Homininae
Tribe Panini
Genus Pan
Tribe Hominini
Subtribe Australopithecina
Genus Ardipithecus
Genus Australopithecus
Genus Kenyanthropus
Genus Sahelanthropus
Genus Orrorin
Genus Paranthropus
Subtribe Hominina
Genus Homo

As more recent peer-reviewed research has surfaced since the early 2000s, I think it is best to write this and related articles according to that research. I support a re-classification be done to this article, as well as to the Homininae article. -Ano-User (talk) 05:17, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

To Hominini as well, come to that, because, while it does mention the scheme above, as written that article implies that it is a non-standard classification, with little support as yet - something that is no longer true. In summary, I support the change, which I understand reflects the current scientific consensus, if not necessarily those of older published sources. Anaxial (talk) 06:21, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, please make this change! We need to use the current consensus classification, not an out of date one. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:49, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Great, I am happy we all agree. It would be excellent if we can all work together on this, because it is a lot of work and affects a large number of articles. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:34, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
We are also going to need a new family tree illustration.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:13, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I've made a start on this page, changing the definitions (although, of course, now the links point to pages that say the opposite...) There may be further editing needed, of course. Doing so reminded me, though, that, in my view, the page still gives too much weight to the Red Ape Hypothesis (that orangutans, not chimps, are humanity's closest relative). I also note that the section on evolution is really only about the Hominini, not the purported full range topic of the article. Anaxial (talk) 20:19, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
The Orangutan ancestor hypothesis has been completely discredited by genetic studies. It should have no weight at all, it isn't even mentioned in current textbooks. I've removed that part. It goes all the way back to when it was thought that Ramapithecus was a hominin ancestor, and not just a female sivapithecus. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:24, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Quite. Didn't want to change it myself, having been previously involved in a debate on the subject. Thanks. Anaxial (talk) 20:32, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Might also need a citation on the claim that a 'hominina' is a member of the Homininae; I've seen 'hominine' used in this sense several times (although also as a synonym for hominin), following standard practice of subfamily members being "-ine", but I've never come across that one, and can't immediately find any use of the term in that way on Google, either. Anaxial (talk) 21:05, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

You're right. I was basically guessing on that one. I'll remove it.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:10, 8 September 2012 (UTC)


OK, I have your attention now. I am looking for someone in the scientific community to think about adding a criticism section under the Gigantopithecus article. I looked at all the references and none appeared to be from the scientific community. I looked on the internet and could not find anything from the scientific community. It just doesn't appear to be something recognized in the scientific community. They even have a subclass called Ponginae which includes Pongo (Orangatans) and the rest, including Gigantopithecus, that are extant. Are those true extant genera (word used on that article page)? Thanks. Mylittlezach (talk) 17:24, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean by the references at Gigantopithecus not appearing to be from the scientific community. One is from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences[1], and another from the American Journal of Physical Anthropology[2]. A quick web search has also turned up these: Journal of Human Evolution, Chinese Science Bulletin, and Quaternary International, all with papers in the last three years. Having said that, no it isn't an extant genus... but then I can't find anything in either article that says it is. If there's something that gave you that impression (or that I simply failed to see), then I'll be happy to change it. Or you could change it yourself, if you like. Anaxial (talk) 20:04, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Anaxial, for the info. You have provided more current links then I was able to find. In my defense, I was a bit tired. Where I said 'extant' I meant to type 'extinct'. I got to Gigantopithecus by way of an article I read about Bigfoot (which I don't believe in) on the internet and link after link eventuallly led me to Gigantopithecus, so I just wondered if it was rather bogus or not. Mylittlezach (talk) 04:48, 3 December 2012 (UTC)


This term is used in Transdimensional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (page 16) to refer to Hominids. It's really only used once and then they just revert to calling them hominids in the rest of the section.

The understanding seems to be limited though. In spite of being published in 1990, it claims that the hominid classification includes Australopithecus, Robustus and Erectus but that it excludes Homo Sapiens (including Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon Man) as well as being different from the Ape (or Great Ape) classification, because they give separate statistics for the Chimp/Gorilla/Orangutang and don't seem to understand that these are also hominids. Ranze (talk) 15:49, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Ape[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Result of discussion was merge

Ape extinction should be included as a section in the main ape article. If the section ever got too large then it would make sense to create a subpage like this, but as it stands it's poorly referenced and lacking any depth. Jack (talk) 15:47, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

what exactly is the sourced content to merge? this POV pushing soapbox should have been deleted long ago. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 16:24, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
To be fair the content you removed was correct, yeah it's a bit soapbox-y, but it could be worked into the ape article with a few more sources. Apes are definitely threatened by the bushmeat trade, and human conflict does interfere with conservation efforts. Jack (talk) 17:18, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


There are a number of internal inconsistencies that should be resolved regarding Great Apes:

  1. The introduction paragraph states there are "four extant genera", but goes on to list *five* items (1 chimp, 2 bonobo, 3 gorilla, 4 human, and 5 orangutan). That's confusing.
  2. The page on Apes notes that there are Greater and Lesser Apes (, with three accepted Great Apes. However, the Great Ape page states there are "four", not three.
  3. The pages should explain the relationship between lesser apes (gibbons) and the bonobos, as it is not clear.
With regard to the first point, the first line of the article does state that chimps and bonobos belong to the same genus. So there are, indeed, four extant genera: 1 chimps and bonobos, 2 gorillas, 3 orangutans, 4 humans. On the second point, I agree that there is some lack of clarity, since bonobos are not specifically mentioned in the section you refer to. That's due to a difference in terminology (mentioned in note 2 to this article), although I agree it would be better if we were consistent. I'm not sure what you're referring to with the third point, as it looks clear to me - could you elaborate? Anaxial (talk) 21:23, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Ah! I missed the lack of a comma. I've fixed this by using a bullet list (when listing more than three items, a bullet list is often used). Regarding the third point, the great apes are listed on the hominidae page as including gorillas, chimpanzees + bonobos, orangutans, and humans. But Bonobos are nowhere to be found in the hierarchy that shows the family tree for the great apes from the Apes page ( I recognize that chimps+bonobos are both classified under pan, but the hierarchy tree (at a glance) should also list bonobos so as to be internally consistent with not only its own page, but with this page. Thangalin (talk) 22:57, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

The issue is the common name for the genus. It's agreed that the two species are now often called "chimpanzee" and "bonobo", but the genus is called "chimpanzees". The HTML comment which has been left in the article says: "These are the common names for the four living genera in Hominidae. Please don't change it to include a mix of species and genera common names (for example, by adding bonobos). See the classification below. Ordering is alphabetical." So precisely what the comment says not to do has just been done (and, what's worse, the comment has been left). Peter coxhead (talk) 13:57, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Incorrect human population?[edit]

Sorry I'm in a rush to submit an assignment, but currently the world population clock referenced under the "conservation" section of the article says that the world population as at 23rd of August 2013 was 7.3mil, while the population clock now (25th Jan, 2015) says it's about 7.29mil, surely the population hasn't declined over that period??? Can someone check this along with the other estimates? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:50, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

I wonder if the PRB updated it's estimate sometime in the last 16 months. I've adjusted the article. - UtherSRG (talk) 14:27, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
According to the data sheets, the September 2013 population was 7.137 billion [3], and August 2014 was 7.238 billion.[4] —PC-XT+ 03:57, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

There is an RFC that may affect this page[edit]

There is an RFC that may affect this page at WikiProject Tree of Life. The topic is Confusion over taxonomy of subtribe Panina and taxon homininae (are chimps hominins)?

Please feel free to comment there. SPACKlick (talk) 16:39, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 7 May 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. --BDD (talk) 20:13, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

HominidaeGreat ape – To be compatible with the ape article and common usage of the name. There are 2 options to maintain compatibility: either move this article to great ape or move the ape article to Hominoidea. Editor abcdef (talk) 09:22, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Oppose "Common usage" of the name is divided, but in non-specialist sources, "great ape" is mostly used to mean "Hominidae minus humans", so the two titles are not equivalent. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:30, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: the optimal title seems to be in plural, i.e. "Great apes" (per the subsection below). By far, more books talk about "Great apes", not "Great ape", "Hominoidea", or "Hominidae". Khestwol (talk) 18:54, 7 May 2015 (UTC))
  • Oppose The two terms do not, in most sources, mean the same thing, so I don't think it matters which is more popular. The book search in the section below, for example, seems to show that the majority of books use the term "great apes" to mean "non-human hominids", which is not the subject matter of this article. Anaxial (talk) 20:14, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
For those of you who oppose, do you think ape should be moved to Hominoidea? "Ape" has the exact same attitude as you stated (most books state "apes and humans"). Editor abcdef (talk) 21:43, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are multiple definitions/circumscriptions for all the terms involved (including "hominid", which is far more common N-Grams than great ape/Hominidae). Hominidae seems to be the least confusing, most precise term for the subject of this article. Another article/term that is in the mix is pongid; should that be moved to "great ape" instead? And ape (which has two circumscriptions, one as a folk taxon, and one scientific) should be moved to Hominoidea which is more precise. Plantdrew (talk) 23:28, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree. This is a classic example of where misguided insistence on an imprecise "common names" destroys WP:PRECISION. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:36, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
Proposal for "Great apes"

HominidaeGreat apes – Per WP:COMMONNAME. "Great apes" is by far more common per Google Ngram. Per Google Books search, "Great apes" get about 125,000 results, but "Hominidae" gets only about 58,200 results. "Great apes" appear to be more than twice as common as "Hominidae", which makes it the optimal title for this page. Khestwol (talk) 18:54, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

A group? So is ape, simian, and primate (notice that the scientific order name is actually Primates). It is an accepted Wikipedia policy to use singular article titles for animals. Editor abcdef (talk) 06:07, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested move 6 June 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No move after three weeks and a relisting period. I considered several issues in this closing. For one thing, the same move was proposed a month before, so I took into account the consensus against moving from that discussion. For another, while it was shown that "great ape" is a more common term overall than "Hominidae", several editors brought up that not all sources for the former necessarily include everything covered by "hominidae", or this article (namely, it may exclude humans and their ancestors). I note that Jbeans helpfully showed that the term "hominid" has changed in meaning over time, but it's less clear that there continues to be variance in reliable sources for "hominidae" to the level that exists with "great ape". Regardless, there was insufficient support for the proposal to justify moving the article. Cúchullain t/c 14:26, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

HominidaeGreat ape – Please take a look at talk:Ape and talk:Ape/Archive 1, if anyone hasn't done so. All the requested moves from ape to Hominoidea or Hominoid has been opposed and rejected. And almost all the people who opposed cited common name. What is the reason that this article should stay at Hominidae and shouldn't be moved to great ape, and the ape article should stay at ape and shouldn't be moved to Hominoidea? --Relisted. Cúchullain t/c 19:15, 18 June 2015 (UTC)Editor abcdef (talk) 03:59, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

Did you even look at the talk page of ape and it's archive? "Ape" and "Hominoid" also has different meanings in common usage. And yet, most people oppose moving the ape article to Hominoidea/Hominoid. Editor abcdef (talk) 07:02, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support per being a Great Ape, per common usage (I've never heard anyone use the term 'Hominidae' in person, I'm "hanging out" with the wrong crowd), recognizability (as mentioned) and per consistency with the 'Ape' article. If ten thousand great apes typed at ten thousands typewriters (with lots of ribbons) for ten thousands years you'd get.....Wikipedia (or WQikipedia). Randy Kryn 11:10, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support – Use of the English language is required. This unpronounceable foreignism should be removed, under the banner of common usage. RGloucester 14:13, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, common name, English, and unambiguous other than the choice of whether to include humans or not, which point is irrelevant. (talk) 14:58, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support--- "Great ape(s)" is much more the recognizable term, therefore the most accessible and researchable for Wp readers---(this choice is a very close parallel to the decision for "Ape"). Jbeans (talk) 15:42, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. ONR (talk) 20:42, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME ("the name that is most commonly used"); see this N-Gram search, the most commonly used name is hominid, not great ape. And the term "great ape", as most commonly used, refers to non-human hominids. I haven't checked every incoming link to great ape or Great Ape, but all of the ones I've looked at all are explicitly referring to non-human hominids. Please search the internet for "great ape"; results are about conservation (humans aren't endangered), zoos (humans aren't in zoos), possibility of language (human language is well established), personhood (human personhood is a tautology), etc. Humans are indeed in the same family as the other great apes, but as commonly used, "great ape" doesn't include humans. There are hundreds of incoming links to Hominidae and hominid, and few dozen to great ape. If Wikipedia is to have an article titled "great ape", then pongid should be moved to that title. Plantdrew (talk) 16:37, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Question, are you suggesting move to "Hominid"? Khestwol (talk) 16:52, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Great apes (not great ape) wins by more than an ape's nose in an n-gram search between 1970 and 2008 (n-grams end in 2008). By this measurement the common name is 'Great apes' (reduced in this context to the singular). Randy Kryn 20:15, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Comment Pongid shouldn't be moved to great ape since it's an outdated paraphyletic term, nowadays that clade only includes orangutans. Editor abcdef (talk) 21:30, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
This isn't a dictionary (so we hardly need a page for every obsolete taxonomic term). According to ITIS and MSW3, pongidae is now a synonym of hominidae. Merge it. Cesiumfrog (talk) 14:07, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per common name and because it is not the same. It would be absurd if Wikipedia didnt have an article on this central scientific concept.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:55, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Comment: As per COMMONNAME, the proposed title is more common than the current title. They are scientifically the same, as per reliable sources. Khestwol (talk) 17:01, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
I have seen no evidence that great ape is more common in terms of frequency. Certainly not in the literature. And no, they are not the same since as the foot note points out there are differences in usage. They are also historically different.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:14, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
The taxonomic databases (ITIS, Mikkos) explicitly record that the common name for hominidae is the great apes. It is the same.
Maunus, I'm surprised, you seem to be objecting because one species has been added to this taxon compared to how it was described in literature pre-dating evolutionary cladistics. We already have fauna title guidelines, in addition to those of the Mammal and Primate wikiprojects (which specify sources to prefer for ensuring the taxonomic nomenclature is consistent and up-to-date). It is totally routine for families to have species added or removed by taxonomists over time. This isn't some unusual isolated issue, so we've already established standards and precedents on how to deal with it. Yes, whenever this happens it technically means that some of the old literature was using the same words to describe slightly different groups of organisms (much like the meanings of other words shift over time), you just have to deal with it. Yes, technical names are slightly more precise than common names, yet WP policy still dictates to choose the latter for titles (with the precise technical name in the lead sentence). Cesiumfrog (talk) 14:07, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
"If Wikipedia doesn't have an article on the central scientific concept"? The thing is that no one is proposing the scientific concept to be deleted, if this succeeds, nothing will change except for the title and probably the lead sentence. Editor abcdef (talk) 21:31, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - because the meaning of the current scientific term is precise and because the proposed name has not been shown to be more common in reliable references. Imc (talk) 19:59, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
    See my n-gram post above, or just click here, at least from 1970 to 2008 Great apes was more common. Randy Kryn 20:19 8 June 2015 (UTC)
That is explained by the fact that "great apes" is used primarily in zoological literature about non-human great apes - i.e. in the sense that is different from Hominidae. Great ape as synonymous with hominidae is hardly in the literature on primate evolution.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:26, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
What literature are you talking about? Does this source not talk about human "great apes"? And so do most of the reliable literature on the subject. Khestwol (talk) 09:30, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
According to wikiproject:primates' primary taxonomy ref's sole-author, The recognition that we as a species are not phylogenetically separated from other animals, but are nested within the primate group known as the Great Apeas, is no longer controversial. Goodman (1963) proposed on this basis to include the great apes (orang utan, gorilla and chimpanzee) in the family Hominidae, a view revived by Groves (1986) and increasingly widely adopted since then. Increasingly, too, the vernacular term 'Great Apes' has come to be used as a pure synonym for Hominidae, so that humans are also 'Great Apes'. [uncontroversally.] [5] (sim. [6]) Cesiumfrog (talk) 14:38, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Yet all of those are about non-human hominids, which suggests that "great ape" is not synonymous with "hominid". Srnec (talk) 13:28, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
All those pages also say, in their leads, something about "non-human great apes" or words to that effect, indicating that if a page is about the overall subject then the subject is "Great Apes". The articles linked concern issues relevant to how human great apes are treating the other great apes (protections, declarations, language projects, etc.), not that the name 'Great ape' is exclusive to those individuals being protected or worked with. So the concept of Wikipedia consistency still seems to hold. Randy Kryn 13:47, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment---The scientific term, Hominidae, is not precise; its scientific meaning has (significantly) migrated since the 1960s---from (then) being an exclusive club for humans only, to now accommodating the membership of all those great apes it once excluded; this migration is discussed---in context of its handle hominids---by Robin Dunbar, as here:

Conventionally, taxonomists now refer to the great ape family (including humans) as hominids, while all members of the lineage leading to modern humans that arose after the split with the LCA are referred to as hominins. The older literature used the terms hominoids and hominids respectively[1]

and by the Australian Museum, as here:[2]

Current use of the term ‘hominid’ can be confusing because the definition of this word has changed over time. [PARA] The term ‘hominid’ used to have the same meaning that ‘hominin’ now has. It was therefore a very useful term to designate the line leading to modern humans and was used when referring to various members of our human evolutionary tree. [PARA] ‘Hominid’ has now been assigned a broader meaning and now refers to all Great Apes and their ancestors. This new terminology is being used in many scientific journals already, and it is only a matter of time (but possibly many years) before everyone catches up to using the new term.

and, especially re this decision:[3]

The problem for students and teachers is that a lot of texts still use the old system and many internet sites also haven't caught up, even those of many reputable scientific establishments. So students/teachers will need to be aware that 'hominids' can mean two different things depending on how up-to-date a reference is with regard to incorporating these taxonomy/classification changes.

So, the scientific term Hominidae is imprecise for same reason as the common term Great ape(s) is imprecise: they both now represent a concept that has significantly changed its meaning and usage.
(I continue to Support of this move (see above) for the reasons specified there.) Jbeans (talk) 16:28, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The same editor proposed the same move a month ago and it was closed as "not moved". Why is this being proposed again now? Srnec (talk) 13:28, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
    I can't speak as to what was in the mind of the editor who opened this requested move, but it seems to me to be because a move request at Ape occurred in the meantime, and that request showed support for the common name. Having one article entitled 'Ape' and a closely related page titled 'Hominidae' (my spell-checker doesn't even recognize the name) may have brought to the fore the question of inter-site consistency. Randy Kryn 13:55, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per ·maunus · snunɐɯ·. Best, FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 22:50, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose We've been over this again and again. The English common name "great ape" is widely used to exclude humans (even by Richard Dawkins – see User:Peter_coxhead/Work_page#Dawkins.27_use_of_.22ape.22). "Hominidae" is not. Wikipedia's role is to reflect sources not dictate usage. Peter coxhead (talk) 07:18, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support but with preference for Gorrilas chimps and people are all have similar levels of genetic difference one from another and we all share genetic content suggestive of a recent common ancestor. Great Apes GregKaye 07:23, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: At least it has been made clear now that the precision argument (that "great ape" is not precise but "Hominidae" is precise) is invalid, thanks to comments above by Jbeans. Khestwol (talk) 16:06, 19 June 2015 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Note:Move discussions[edit]

Hominidae is a specialized name but it is not rare or uncommon.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 21:32, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, by comparison Hominidae is less common in usage than "great ape(s)". Also, Hominidae is far less recognizable/familiar in general, as compared to "great ape". Khestwol (talk) 17:15, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Date range conflict[edit]

Hominidae says 7–0 Mya, but Homininae (subfamily of Hominidae) says 8–0 Mya; it is clearly impossible for both age ranges to be correct. Either the lower bound for Hominidae must be 8 or more, or that for Homininae must be 7 or less.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:45, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

Consistency with ape[edit]

If this article title should stay as Hominidae, shouldn't the title of the ape article be Hominoidea? The article structure of the two are not much different. Editor abcdef (talk) 02:39, 28 June 2015 (UTC)