O último ancestral comum de humanos, hominídeos e primatas era do tamanho de um gibão

segunda-feira, outubro 23, 2017

Evidence of a chimpanzee-sized ancestor of humans but a gibbon-sized ancestor of apes

Mark Grabowski & William L. Jungers

Nature Communications 8, Article number: 880 (2017)

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Biological anthropology Phylogenetics

Received: 23 September 2016 Accepted: 09 August 2017

Published online: 12 October 2017

Source/Fonte: Cosmos


Body mass directly affects how an animal relates to its environment and has a wide range of biological implications. However, little is known about the mass of the last common ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees, hominids (great apes and humans), or hominoids (all apes and humans), which is needed to evaluate numerous paleobiological hypotheses at and prior to the root of our lineage. Here we use phylogenetic comparative methods and data from primates including humans, fossil hominins, and a wide sample of fossil primates including Miocene apes from Africa, Europe, and Asia to test alternative hypotheses of body mass evolution. Our results suggest, contrary to previous suggestions, that the LCA of all hominoids lived in an environment that favored a gibbon-like size, but a series of selective regime shifts, possibly due to resource availability, led to a decrease and then increase in body mass in early hominins from a chimpanzee-sized LCA.


We are extremely grateful to Mana Dembo and Mark Collard for their hominin phylogenetic tree. Thanks to Neil Roach, Kjetil Voje, and Scott Williams for comments that greatly enhanced our manuscript, Travis Ingram for questions regarding SURFACE, and Thomas Hansen for continuous and welcome advice on OU modeling. Funding for this research was provided by the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program to M.G.

Author information


Paleoanthropology, Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment (HEP), Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

Mark Grabowski

Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History, New York City, NY, 10024, USA

Mark Grabowski

Department of Biosciences, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), University of Oslo, Oslo, 0316, Norway

Mark Grabowski

Department of Anthropology, Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, 20052, USA

Mark Grabowski

Association Vahatra, Antananarivo 101, BP, 3972, Madagascar

William L. Jungers

Department of Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, 11794, USA

William L. Jungers


M.G. designed the study; M.G. and W.L.J. collected the data; M.G. performed the analyses; M.G. and W.L.J. discussed the results and wrote the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mark Grabowski.

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