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Ignacio Arenillas

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 2: Hominid Descriptions

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Hominid Descriptions
Hominid descriptions

The hominids are included in the superfamily Hominoidea, which groups together humans, great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans), lesser apes (gibbons and siamangs), and all the fossil relatives (e.g., Oreopithecus, Sivapithecus, Dryopithecus, and Australopithecus). Formerly, the hominoids were divided into hominids (humans) and pongids (great and lesser apes), the last ones of which were later subdivided in pongidae (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans) and hylobatidae (gibbons and siamangs). For this reason, the term “hominid” has been traditionally restricted to humans and their extinct relatives (i.e., those fossil taxa belonging to the human phylogenetic lineage). This definition is commonly used even by many anthropologists. However, taxa strictly grouping in hominids are not only humans, but also chimpanzees and gorillas, which form the ...

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