Apes or hominids, or anthropoids (Lat. Hominoidea or Anthropomorphidae) is a superfamily of Catarrhini, whose body structure is similar to a human. Man is also included in this taxon. The superfamily consists of two families: hylobatidae and hominids.
Hominoidae superfamily includes – along with Cercopithecoidea superfamily – in the order of Catarrhini (i.e., Old World monkeys). Both superfamily have quite clearly different anatomical features.
Those college and university students who have chosen the topic for their research papers have to know that apes can be characterized by larger (compared to the monkeys ) body, no tail, cheek pouches and ischial callosities (gibbons have them, but small). Apes have a fundamentally different way to get around the trees, instead of running along the branches on all four limbs, they move mainly on the hands, under the branches. This method of movement is called brachiation; an adaptation to it caused a number of anatomical changes: more flexible and long arms, mobile shoulder joint, flattened chest in the anteroposterior direction.
All anthropoid have similar teeth structures and larger, compared to the monkeys, brain. In addition, their brain is more complex, with highly developed brain divisions responsible for the movement of the hand and tongue, as well as organs of vision.
Apes first appeared in the Old World by the end of the Oligocene – about 30 million years ago. Among the best known of their ancestors we can speak of propliopithekus, primitive monkey resembled today’s gibbons from the Faiyum Oasis (Egypt), gave rise to pliopithecus, gibbons and dryopithecus. In the Miocene, there was a sharp increase in the number and the variety of species of great apes. In this era (about 20-16 million years ago) dryopithecus and other hominoids have been widely settle from Africa to Asia and Europe. Among Asian hominoids there were sivapithekus, the ancestors of orangutans, the line which separated from the main trunk of the hominoids about 16-13 million years ago. According to the Molecular Biology, the separation of chimpanzees and gorillas from common with human stem occurred, most likely, 8-6 million years ago.
The earliest known hominids are rukvapithecus, kamoyapithecus (25 million years ago), morotopithecus (20.6 million years ago, belongs to the early Miocene in Uganda), limnopithecus (17-22 million years ago) from Kenya and Uganda, ugandapithecus (19-21,5 million years ago), rangwapithecus (19 million years ago) from Kenya.
Part of scholars tends to the version that parapithecus is an ancestor of hominids, but this opinion is insufficiently substantiated due to the small number of residues of the latter.
The term “relic hominoids” refers to the mythical Bigfoot.
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