The Anatomical Classification of Organisms to Show Evolutionary Relationships

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Classification is the ordering of organisms into categories to show evolutionary relationships. There is much thought and consideration that goes into animal classification, and specifically primate classification. Different primates are observed and are looked at genetically. It is seen as a controversial topic because many believe that chimps and humans belong in the same category because they are very similar. Currently, there are two major classification systems, anatomical classification and hominoid genetic classification.
The Anatomical Classification begins with three groups; hylobatids, pongids, and hominids, which refer to gibbons, great apes, and humans, respectively. The Hominoid Genetic Classification system groups them a bit differently. It begins with two major groups, hylobatids and hominids. In this classification, rather than referring to humans alone, the hominids category includes the great apes as well. Hominids are further divided into pongines (orangutans), gorilines (gorillas) and hominines, which consists of humans, chimps, and bonobos. Humans in the Hominoid Genetic Classification system are referred to as hominins instead of hominids (Larsen 142). In the Hominoid Genetic Classification system chimps, bonobos and humans are kept together until they completely diverge. Clearly, there are different displays of classification and it’s something that many people do not agree on.
There are many factors that are important to consider when classifying organisms, and in this case, primates. It’s not always just physical appearance, which is what many people outside of the anthropological world make it seem to be. Just because we are not hairy nor live in the wild, doesn’t mean we’re completely different. We ...

... middle of paper ... see why bonobos and chimps should share a genus, but people are not as open to changing Pan troglodytes to Homo troglodytes, and in other words, sharing our genus with bonobos and chimps. If species are as similar as we are, genetically, physically and socially, then they should be able to share a genus. It is not degrading or upgrading to anyone, it’s just painting an accurate picture of our evolutionary past.

Works Cited

Carey, Benedict. Kissing Cousins. N.p.: n.p., 1993. Print.
Gibbons, Ann. "Bonobos Join Chimps as Closest Human Relatives." Science/AAAS. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2013.
Groce, Nora E., and Jonathan Marks. The Great Ape Project and Disability Rights: Ominous Undercurrents of Eugenics in Action. N.p.: American Anthropological Association, 2001. Print.
Pollard, Katherine. “What Makes Us Different?”, n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2013.

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