Talk:Hominidae/Archive 2

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The term "hominan"[edit]

I'd like to know what the article's source is for refering to the hominini as hominans, as I can find no support for the term in the literature. Where the term is used at all it seems to be referencing the homininae, but even this usage seems rare. "Hominin" seems to be far more widely used to refer to the hominini, with numerous recent papers adopting this terminology. Is there some sort of taxonomic ultimate authority which Wikipedia is bound to, or is this just a mistake? Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:57, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

I noticed the same thing, and agree with you. Awickert (talk) 10:09, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Disambiguating links from Hominid to Hominidae[edit]


I am involved in the ongoing Wiki disambiguation project. (See Wikipedia:Disambiguation pages with links for more information.)

  • I have been correcting the links in various articles from "hominid" to "Hominidae". Note: this does not mean changing the visible text, just the underlying link, so that the reader reaches an article instead of a disambiguation page. This is the purpose of disambiguation.
  • However, user UtherSRG has been reverting all my corrections.

I could use some help here. I have spent hours on this project. Thanks. Iggle 00:51, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

If you'd read the hominid article, you'd see that there is plenty of information that makes this more than just a typical disambiguation page. You wouldn't have wasted as much of time on this if you'd halted when I first asked you to instead of undoing my reverts and carrying on with your "repairs". Some of the edits you made were good, but others were not. This article talks about the distinctions in terminology, the difference in the various terms used to describe various hominoids. The Hominidae article describes the family of apes. Let me repeat: one is an article about terminology, one is an artile about animals. - UtherSRG (talk) 01:06, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Could we please keep this discussion about the topic? I will disregard your outright and implied slurs.
To try to reply to some of the factual points you have brought up:
  1. The hominid dab page is not actually very atypical. Many dab pages include brief explanations about the different links listed, as this one does.
  2. I left the revert you made, as you requested, on the Human Evolution page. If you were asking me to stop all disambiguation efforts regarding the hominid dab page, that was not clear to me. I thought your request was in regards to one page.
  3. I don't consider my efforts a waste of time, any more than you do yours, I imagine.
  4. There isn't an "article" per se about this terminology. A disambiguation page is not quite the same as an article. They have different functions.
If there are discussions of related terminology in articles, then it might be appropriate to link to a detailed discussion of the terminology. However, if an article simply mentions the term "hominid," then it is appropriate to link to a page that gives further information about hominids--and that would be the Hominidae page.
If you feel that the Hominidae article is incomplete in such a way that the reader needs more explanation of terminology, you might consider adding that explanation. However, I think this is covered by the first line, "For an explanation of very similar terms...."
If you feel that an article about terminology is needed, you might write one. According to wiki policy, one shouldn't intentionally use frequent links to disambiguation pages. (See Disambiguation_page#Confusion.) Iggle 02:34, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

If you read your talk page, you'll remember that I mentioned nothing about the Human Evolution page specifically when I asked you to stop. I asked you to stop "fixing" the hominid links. The hominid dab page *is* different than most dabs. Most dabs have just a single line for each entry. This dab has a whole paragraph above and below the line-by-line disambiguation. If it makes it easier for you to swallow, I'm removing the dab tag. Now it's not a dab page at all. Look at the edit history of this page and of Hominidae. It's not a typical dab. Leave the links as they are within articles (the taxobox fixes were correct). Good day sir. - UtherSRG (talk)

Making that an article rather than a dab page is an excellent idea. It removes the entire difficulty--and you won't run into this issue with the next "de-daber" to innocently stumble upon your domain. Good thinking, ma'am. Iggle 18:24, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, but I'm a guy. - UtherSRG (talk) 18:28, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
I rather thought so. But I'm not, so I was just making a little repartee. --Iggle 19:35, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Oh! *blush* My bad. Sorry. - UtherSRG (talk) 20:05, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Extinct species[edit]

I assume that all the groups include extinct species as well as living ones, for instance Homo erectus. Could this be made clear in the first sentence? Thanks. Steve Dufour 05:05, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Sure!. - UtherSRG (talk) 12:44, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Why the reference?[edit]

Just wondering why

For the book by Robert J. Sawyer, see The Neanderthal Parallax.

occurs at the beginning. Is there a reason people looking for his book would search for "hominid"? Or people searching for "hominid" should be particularly directed to this book? -- 19:19, 26 January 2007 (UTC) Sorry, this was me: --jb 19:20, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Follow the link, and you will have your answer. - UtherSRG (talk) 23:29, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I thought...?[edit]

i thought hominids were upright, bipedal organisms and did not include chimpanzees and related apes?

from Merriem-Webster Online:

Main Entry: hom·i·nid Pronunciation: 'hä-m&-n&d, -"nid Function: noun Etymology: New Latin Hominidae, from Homin-, Homo + -idae

any of a family (Hominidae) of erect bipedal primate mammals comprising recent humans together with extinct ancestral and related forms
You would look more intelligent if you capitalized correctly. -The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 04:48, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

from MSN Encarta:

hom·i·nid [ hómmənid ] (plural hom·i·nids)



member of primate family including humans: a primate belonging to a family of which the modern human being is the only species still in existence. Family Hominidae.

Those are rather out-dated notions. Note the history section in the Hominoidea article. - UtherSRG (talk) 03:22, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Please cite recent sources that include the great apes in with hominids. All the sources I have (including new textbooks) do not include the great apes with hominids.Calystia 20:52, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Note the history section in the Hominoidea article. - UtherSRG (talk) 21:26, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Neanderthals are not human ancestors[edit]

Contrary to the statement in the article DNA evidence now shows that we are not descended from Neanderthals.

[Work on] .. Neanderthal mtDNA has dated their last common ancestor with humans to about 660,000 years ago, give or take 140,000 years.

Now that the evidence is available, in the shape of a complete neanderthal genome, isn't it time that anachronistic and discredited theories about human ancestry were removed from this article —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fentlehan (talkcontribs) 08:40, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't see how that article disproves to statement. Yes, we are not descended from Neanderthals. The statement doesn't say that. It just says how long ago the ancestor of both lived. (talk) 16:32, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
The major problem is that in the "Classification" section, the Homo genus is pointed out as "immediate ancestors of modern humans", which is not true for all of the Homo genus, as we know nowadays that many of the species were short-lived branches that didn't lead to us (for example, the Neanderthal that just got cited here). I suggest we change the phrase to something more accurate, maybe "immediate ancestors and close relatives to modern humans". -- (talk) 17:05, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Why aren't there any photos of humans in this article?[edit]

Shouldn't we add some? If humans are apes, then it is logical to include at least one photo. I only see photos of other non-human apes. (talk) 19:37, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Humans are not apes, but we are closely related to them ... HammerFilmFan (talk) 03:05, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
There are plenty of people who would agree with you about the first part of that, namely that humans are not apes; but about half of those people are Creationists. Among biologists, it is now pretty widely (though not actually universally) accepted that the genus Homo indeed falls under the (Great) Ape rubric. Check out the opening sentence, and note the left-hand leaf-node of the family tree. The upshot of all this being: Hey, why aren't there any photos of humans in this article...? :~D IfYouDoIfYouDon't (talk) 06:30, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Hey, you fooled me, HammerFilmFan! There's been a picture of humans here for some time already. Nice, very nice. IfYouDoIfYouDon't (talk) 06:35, 20 June 2012 (UTC)


The intro doesn't include Bonobo as a Great Ape. I keep trying to change it but apparently the edit is "unconstructive". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:44, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Read the comment just after the portion you are trying to edit. To wit, "chimpanzee" covers both species of chimps: the Common Chimpanzee, and the Bonobo (also known as the Pygmy Chimpanzee). The listing only includes the genus-level common names. There are two species of chimpanzees (as I've just mentioned), and there are also two species of gorillas and two species of orangutans. For simplicity, we don't list all of the species, just the common names for the genera. - UtherSRG (talk) 12:02, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

I disagree - only thw two species of 'chimpanzee' are widely upheld - there are plenty who would like to assign one or more of the gorilla subspecies to species level but that viewpoint is far from widespread. Likewise for the two orangutan subspecies. Only the Chimpanzee and Bonobo have their own common name and are good biological species —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:18, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Bonobos are more intelligent than their chimp counter-parts and yet are a widely unknown species of great apes by many people. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ZenithNoesis (talkcontribs) 09:29, 12 January 2010 (UTC)


According to the article, hominids do "not [become] fully mature for 8-13 years in most species (longer in humans)." Am I correct to assume it means physical/sexual maturity? If so, wouldn't it be about the same in humans, about 13? It seems to me that this article should treat humanity from a biological, animal perspective (something I will admit is counter-intuitive for most people), and as much as society likes to pretend people aren't physically mature until 18/21/insert age of majority here, we are physically and sexually mature about 13 or so. Should the parenthetical at the end of the quote be removed? If I'm misreading what this passage means (such as if we are also going by the social structures of the other hominids for their maturity ages, rather than physical means), let me know. J0lt C0la (talk) 21:53, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Humans are not fully grown at 13, though. They may be able to reproduce, but that's not the same thing. I think that's why it says 'fully mature' rather than 'sexually mature'. Anaxial (talk) 22:07, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I think it means the age adulthood is reached when it says "maturity". I think concepts like "sexual maturity" and other things that have ages of consent mean maturity in your mind. And I agree that 13 year olds can be mature enough to consent to sex if they so choose (they certainly do in the UK if you watch the news there!). That for me is the purpose of ages of consent: to protect children until they are ready to make that decision on their own without being coerced into it. And I think 13yr olds are mature enough to not be coerced as a general rule. I also think it's hypocritical that in the UK, the age you can buy alcohol is different than the age you can learn to drive, or consent to sex etc. Why should these ages be different?
Anyway, I don't think the fact that Great Apes or other hominids become mature at age X means that humans become mature at that age also. There may be some correlation and crossover, but we are a different species, so there are differences between us. Deamon138 (talk) 22:08, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Civil rights for Great Apes[edit]

Apparently Spain has extended rights to Great Apes. Should this be reflected somewhere in the article? (talk) 04:42, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Do you have a verifiable and reliable source you can [[WP:CITE|cite]? - UtherSRG (talk) 07:22, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
This guys vandalized a few places. Check his contributions. So it's best to treat this post here as a "joke", although I wouldn't blame anyone if they considered it racist. Deamon138 (talk) 21:59, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually he is telling the truth to an extent. Spain has granted limited civil rights towards non-human great apes. Westvoja (talk) 02:17, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

we have a dedicated article for this, Great ape personhood. dab (𒁳) 19:07, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

On July 11 I added a "Legal status" section to this article to summarize this. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 20:05, 18 July 2008 (UTC)


the official Virunga National Park website added because it is the only park in the world with three taxa of great apes. The site is critical to great ape conservation. While the external link was removed as spam, I think it is justified. Unless you disagree, please revert.

I deleted the link in question as it promotes a product (namely the Park and its funding), and is only tangentially connected with the subject of the article. The link would, in my view, be appropriate at the Virunga National Park page itself, but it seems to serve no useful purpose here - many parks and zoos feature apes, and since Wikipedia is not a collection of links, we can't link to all of them.Anaxial (talk) 23:51, 20 January 2009 (UTC)


My concern with this article is whether or not humans should be classified as great apes. There is much debate about our (that is, humans) status among the apes. We are correctly classified under homininae, but should this article go as far as placing us under "Great Apes"? We do share a close tie with chimpanzees and bonobos than we do with the other apes, but there are clear distinctions between us and chimps, physically and genetically; there is a 94% commonality between us and chimps - "Close, but not that close."

The main differences reflect the acquired traits, or specializations, among the hominins in three areas: brain, teeth, and locomotion. For example, the dental arcade of apes and humans are very different: In panins and gorillas, there are U shaped arcades; in humans, there are parabolic shaped arcades. This is only one of many differences. This is just my opinion and it does not have to be taken by the writers of this article, but it is something that should be taken into consideration. -Ano-User (talk) 10:32, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

The article is pretty much based upon what is published. Current taxonomy places Homo sapiens in the family Hominidae, also known as the Great Apes, of which Homininae is one of the two extant subfamilies. However you think humans should be classified the issue cannot be addressed in an encyclopedia article. You might try one of the human evolution discussion boards on-line to find a place to discuss your opinions about the taxonomy of Homo sapiens. --KP Botany (talk) 04:33, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
I understand that the article is based upon what is published, but I think it would be better for it to be moved and named as, as dab said, the "unambiguous Hominidae". This term would be of more educational use than "Great Apes" would be, but that is only my opinion. Whether humans "should" be classified as great apes, the issue cannot be addressed in an encyclopedia article; THIS is exactly my point, and is why the name "Great Apes" should be re-named "Hominidae". "Great Apes" should be a "sub-article" within the main article. It could be set up as a sub-article that addresses the question of whether humans "should" be classified as a species of Great Ape. --Ano-User (talk) 07:15, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

This issue has been plaguing the article for ages. I think the problem is the implication that "Hominidae" is equivalent to "Great apes". Now "Hominidae" is the scientific term, while "great ape" is the common English term. "Hominidae" being an artificial term for taxonomical classification, its definition is not under dispute. But it just so happens that spoken English, over which taxonomists have no defining power, does not include humans under "apes", so the issue will keep coming up. The solution imho would be to move this article to the unambiguous Hominidae.

The article is aware to this point, "Great ape" is a common name rather than a taxonomic label and there are differences in usage. Subtly, it may seem to exclude human beings ("humans and the great apes") or to include them ("humans and non-human great apes"). but for some reason it prefers to stash the admission into a footnote and hit the reader with "you ape" in the lead, so people can gloat over the uneducated complaints on talk rather than putting it straight up front. The unambiguous term is Hominidae. Whether you want to include humans in the common name "great ape" is pretty much up to your taste. --dab (𒁳) 08:37, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Think of it like this- if I pointed to a human and told you "this person is a mammal." You would have no problem agreeing with me. Humans, obviously, are mammals. Mammals aren't humans, though. If I pointed to the squirrel out the window, it is also a mammal. Now, with that statement, you don't see any religious leaders getting all frantic about how a human could be linked with such an "inferior" animal such as the squirrel. That is because mammal is a general term for a collection of species. Apes is the same way. Humans are apes, but apes aren't humans. In fact, there is no one species that is an ape, by itself. An ape describes the multiple different collection of species, just as the word mammal does, just as the word primate and simian do. Just think of it as a technicality. All spiders are bugs, but only some bugs are spiders. Not all bugs are spiders. Bugs can describe a wide range of species, including species of spiders and insects. Apes can describe human-like and gorilla-like species. A human is an ape, just as a human is a mammal. (talk) 15:27, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
This is an unusual problem with a common name that I had not contemplated. I am used to thinking of Homo sapiens taxonomically as Great Apes, but I realize it's a vernacular term, also, and, yes, it may offend people, or rather, as dab put it, "is pretty much up to your taste."
Still WP:Mammals uses common names as standard on articles in their categories, maybe this should be posted there (this being the proposal). --KP Botany (talk) 08:56, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
I am sure this can be recognized as a special case, due to the asymmetry of H. sapiens being the one species doing all the taxonomic classification. --dab (𒁳) 09:22, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
You are right in saying that it may offend people, but that is an emotional reaction. Calling someone an "ape" is usually taken to mean that he/she is a brute or moron, but this shouldn't be the case for taking offence. Instead, it should be viewed in regards to the commonalities that we have with chimps, bonobos gorillas, and orangutans, not by someone's feelings or stereotypes. However, there is no doubt that we share much of our genetics and social capabilities with the African and Asian apes.
The names "Great Apes" and "Hominidae" should not be synonymous, but separate. Physically, homo sapiens and apes (as we know them) are very different. The name "Hominid" is also used synonymously with "Great Apes", but this must be changed also. But yes, as dab said, it is pretty much up to your taste. --Ano-User (talk) 07:15, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Whether hominid and similar terms "should" be changed is really not something we can do anything about here. The scientific consensus is what it is, and until and unless it changes, the article can only report on the current taxonomy. It's the ICZN you'll need to complain to, not us, I'm afraid. Anaxial (talk) 08:38, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I understand that it is not within our power to change nomenclature, but as you said below, changing the name on the article may help to minimize confusion. It could also help avoid disputes like this. As I have stated above, we can create "The Great Apes" as a sub-article within a newly titled article named "Hominidae." Just a suggestion. --Ano-User (talk) 10:08, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I'd prefer a redirect, rather than a sub-article. Obviously, we'd have to explain the different uses of the terminology in a slightly different way than we do at present, but we wouldn't want to make a definitive statement that humans are not great apes (or that they are, for that matter), since many people do use the term to include humans. Anaxial (talk) 12:28, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, a redirect would be a better option in this case. I agree that it is not in our power to make a definite statement to whether homo sapiens should or should not be classified as "Great Apes". Many anthropologists and paleoanthropologists may still use the term to include homo sapiens, but admittedly, the argument is still there and should not be abandoned, especially within encyclopedias. The article itself makes it clear in a foot note that classification is a subject of debate, but as I agreed, a redirect would be a better option. Thanks for the discussion! --Ano-User (talk) 22:53, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't be adverse to this move, as it might help minimise the confusion. In scientific circle, "great ape" is generally (though not exclusively, per some comments elsewhere on this Talk page) used as a synonym for "Hominidae", but in vernacular parlance, it generally isn't - it's a paraphyletic grouping, like reptile or fish. Hominid might be another compromise name, since that is sometimes used as if it were the common name for the group, but seems to be rather against the trend of article names, and possibly unsatisfactory for that reason. And, of course, it would require merging with the article that already exists under that name. Anaxial (talk) 09:47, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
I think I have tried to make the same point as dab earlier on this discussion page. I would support a move. Iblardi (talk) 10:51, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

I have implemented the move. The question remains, what to do with the Hominid article. Should it become a disambiguation page? A full article? Merged here? Merged into Humanoid? --dab (𒁳) 08:21, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Honestly, I think the article Hominid (term) is fine just the way it is, and should NOT be merged into Humanoid or the Hominidae article. It may just be my own ignorance, but whenever I hear the word "humanoid", I always tend to think of creatures from science fiction novels or aliens, not things that pertain to science fact. I don't think it should be merged into Hominidae because the article itself already addresses the revisions the term has gone through, and could be of historical/taxonomic use, if thats understandable. --Ano-User (talk) 21:24, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Most scientist are just starting to use this term to include humans among the great apes. I have even read a book published as recently as 2006 that still used the outdated classification that claims all non-human great apes belong to the pongo family. Obviousy this is no longer the case. I believe that it is most wise to count humans as apes. It is a way to honor our evolutionary ancestory. Plus humans, chimps, ans bonobos all share 96% of DNA, and 99.4% of their genetics over all. This genetic kin is closer than the relation to a horse and an ass, which both share the same genus. We shall grow even more as a speices by accepting the term ape to include humans. If we embrace it than future generations will have a greater repect for our evolutionary kin as well as doing away with the bias thinking of humans being "superior" to other apes. Humans, chimps, and bonobos also share the same blood-type, which mean each can donate between each other (according by type of course). Read Next of Kin: My Conversations with Chimpanzees by Roger Fouts for futher information. Westvoja (talk) 02:18, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Why is it so hard for humans to accept that they are apes? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:35, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Wrong question. Is it hard for humans to accept that they are closely related to chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas? Some people find it hard, some don't. Should either group call all members of the Hominidae "apes"? The first group obviously won't want to. But the second group may not want to either, because everyday language is not about scientific precision but about useful contrasts. For example, "humans" are legally responsible for their actions; "apes" are not. The biggest legal, moral and cultural gap is between Homo sapiens and other members of the Hominidae, so in these spheres it's sensible to use language which recognizes this. In other spheres, such as biology, it's not. Peter coxhead (talk) 15:25, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Help! (unparseable sentence)[edit]

I can't comprehend the following sentence:

The lack of morphological corroboration of the molecular similarity of humans and chimpanzees is widely assumed to reflect a false evolutionary signal from the morphology, but an alternative possibility is that the molecular evidence is misleading because it represents overall similarity rather than uniquely shared molecular characters.

It's simply too vague, f.ex. "false evolutionary signal" (how?), "molecular evidence" (which?), "uniquely shared molecular characters" (ehhmm? "characters"?), and it might profit from being split into more than one sentence. I'm huhhing it. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 14:25, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Huhhing it was rather generous of you. I removed it. When it says something it can be readded. --KP Botany (talk) 09:37, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Fortunately, one of the articles used as a cite is available in full online. Having read it, I think I understand what the sentence is trying to say, and have rephrased it accordingly. Has this helped? Anaxial (talk) 10:12, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
The current formulation is as clear and comprehensible as spring water. The point is that the "early-from-Orangutan" theory (just clumsily inventing a term, don't take seriously!) is supported by maintaining that Orangutan has gone through a heavy genetical change while keeping the general morph, and it is motivated by trying to explain why a lot of australopitechine characters ("parts of the morph") reminds us of orangutans. I could vaguely "sense" that in the sentence that I huhhed, but I couldn't get the sentence fit my "gut-feeling". ... said: Rursus (bork²) 10:25, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, yes, generally I know where the sentence is coming from, and can guess its author even. I'll read Anaxial's input. --KP Botany (talk) 10:36, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
It is sourced by two sources, so while probably a minority theory, it is an interesting alternative, contributing to making science "fascinating!". What would science be without alternatives? But of course: the alternatives must be viable by scientific measures. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 11:07, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Like most "interesting" alternative theories, however, it's weight in the scientific community overall must be properly noted within the article. I think, probably, knocked out here on the talk page, probably before including the information. --KP Botany (talk) 11:21, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
True enough, it could do with more qualification as to how much support the theory has - although that's true of the whole paragraph, not just this one sentence. Even the journal article cited makes it clear that the theory is not mainstream. (And, personally, I find it a little hard to believe). Anaxial (talk) 12:09, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, it's not about our belief systems, luckily. Should we pull the whole paragraph and discuss it here? --KP Botany (talk) 20:14, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Luckily not, no! But it does strike me that, given how fringe this theory is, we probably don't need an entire alternative list of species (i.e. presenting the same information again, in an order that almost all scientists agree is wrong). That really gives undue weight to the theory, in my opinion, because it makes it look like its on an equal footing with the generally accepted theory. So I will delete that part for the time being - it's easy enough to reconstruct if need be. Anaxial (talk) 19:45, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
It's not on the level of completely dismissable, meaning that some evolutionary scientists will discuss the theory. I've never stood around a seminar with a bunch of evolutionary biologists and geneticists and paleontologists and geologists and discussed flood geology, but I have sat around with a similar group and discussed the orangutan theory of human origins. I suggest that if it can be credibly sourced it can be included to the level of the weight the source gives it. Unless and until then it can sit on the sidelines without real damage to this article which has other issues. --KP Botany (talk) 04:34, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Orangutans: Social behaviour - Solitary animals?[edit]

"In both chimpanzees and gorillas, the groups include at least one dominant male, and females leave the group at maturity. By contrast, orangutans are generally solitary."

Because orangutans have often been observed wandering about on themselves, they have been regarded as solitary animals for a long time. Due to this assumption, at many zoos they have lived/live alone which usually led/leads to great loneliness and suffering for the animals.

As recent studies have revealed (like the observations of Willie Smits, founder of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation), orangutans do enjoy the company of members of their own kind.

It is assumed that their relatively often solitary travelling is due to a shortage of sufficient food in the rainforests on Borneo and Sumatra. If they travelled in larger groups, the chances that the found food would be enough for every member would be rather small.

But it has been discovered that when there is enough food for several individuals in one place (like when a great fig tree is bearing fruit), many orangutans gather together and prove to be very sociable (playing, communicating, ...).

Averaged, there are more fruits for the orangutans growing in the rainforests on Sumatra than on Borneo (except for the years when many trees on Borneo are bearing fruit at the same time). —Preceding unsigned comment added by AnnaMaria15 (talkcontribs) 17:44, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Besides, there are also mothers with their children, who were seen, travelling in the company of a few younger males. The risk that they ate so much that there would not be enough left for the mother is not that high. Also young males without their own territory have been watched wandering together.

Actually all versions of forming groups have been observed so far, except for two dominant males due to them being territory. --AnnaMaria15 18:57, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

History section needs to be expanded[edit]

At the moment it only seems to cover the human/chimpanzee stem group, with no mention of gorilla or Ponginae history. I don't know much about them so I can't edit it myself; I do know there are a lot of Ponginae fossils that could be talked about in this section. (talk) 16:36, 14 September 2009 (UTC)