Frog perspective on the morphological difference between humans and chimpanzees

Science  14 Apr 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4338, pp. 209-211
DOI: 10.1126/science.635583


The body shapes of humans and chimpanzees were compared quantitatively by criteria chosen for their capacity to discriminate well among the body shapes of frogs. By these criteria, the difference in body shape between humans and chimpanzees was found to be greater than that between the most dissimilar pairs of frogs examined--that is, frogs classified in separate taxonomic suborders. Even though the morphological diffference between the two primates is large by frog standards, the biochemical differences between the structural genes of these two species are small. The results of this study give quantitative support to the proposal that morphological evolution and biochemical evolution in structural genes can proceed at independent rates.