Reports

Immunological Time Scale for Hominid Evolution

Science  01 Dec 1967:
Vol. 158, Issue 3805, pp. 1200-1203
DOI: 10.1126/science.158.3805.1200

Abstract

Several workers have observed that there is an extremely close immunological resemblance between the serum albumins of apes and man. Our studies with the quantitative micro-complement fixation method confirm this observation. To explain the closeness of the resemblance, previous workers suggested that there has been a slowing down of albumin evolution since the time of divergence of apes and man. Recent evidence, however, indicates that the albumin molecule has evolved at a steady rate. Hence, we suggest that apes and man have a more recent common ancestry than is usually supposed. Our calculations lead to the suggestion that, if man and Old World monkeys last shared a common ancestor 30 million years ago, then man and African apes shared a common ancestor 5 million years ago, that is, in the Pliocene era.

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