The Red Ape: Orangutans and Human Origins

Overview

We've all heard that chimpanzees are our closest relatives - that, in fact, they share 98% of their genes with us. But what evidence supports these often-repeated commonplaces? Very little, concludes physical anthropologist Jeffrey Schwartz. In his keenly insightful demolition of conventional wisdom on the family relationships between apes and humans, Schwartz provides a fresh examination of fossil evidence, modern anatomy and physiology, and DNA. He argues that it is not chimpanzees or other African apes that ...
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Overview

We've all heard that chimpanzees are our closest relatives - that, in fact, they share 98% of their genes with us. But what evidence supports these often-repeated commonplaces? Very little, concludes physical anthropologist Jeffrey Schwartz. In his keenly insightful demolition of conventional wisdom on the family relationships between apes and humans, Schwartz provides a fresh examination of fossil evidence, modern anatomy and physiology, and DNA. He argues that it is not chimpanzees or other African apes that are humankind's closest cousins, but Asian orangutans. The result is a compelling challenge to what we think we know about the origins of humans, and about the pursuit of science.In this thoroughly revised edition of The Red Ape, Schwartz analyzes the myriad fossil discoveries made since the publication of the first edition. He reveals the embarrassing fact that orangutan and human teeth are so similar that they have commonly been misidentified for each other in the fossil record, even by experts. New material provocatively addresses whether molecules (DNA) are more reliable than fossils and anatomy in assessing evolutionary relationships. Numerous new plates and drawings illustrate the text.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813340647
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is professor of physical anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh and a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the author of The Red Ape, What Bones Tell Us, and Skeleton Keys.
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Table of Contents

1 The orangutan 1
2 In pursuit of human ancestry 25
3 The search for our closest relatives 51
4 The riddle of relatedness 79
5 Primates first, hominoids last 99
6 The hominoids 129
7 Humans and orangutans 145
8 Blood's thicker than bones 161
9 Of molecules and evolution 183
10 In the wake of The red ape 203
11 Chimps uber Alles? 219
12 The return of the red ape 239
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