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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A List of 5 Hominid Evolutionary Dead Ends or Kissing Cousins





In order to jump the line with your “fast pass” and enjoy the ride you'll need to check your intelligent design preconceptions with the hat check attendants. This bumpy ride is a headlong plunge into the evolutionary underbelly of the taxonomical hominid. This classification of the hominid, codified by the Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus, groups humans (homo) with the great apes in the same category. Since that time hominid has come to be reclaimed by anthropologists, primatologists, evolutionary biologists and paleontologists to mean, in a stricter sense, humans who aren't homo sapiens but closer to us than chimpanzees. Until now no missing link type of Rosetta Stone bone fragment or DNA sequence has been found which can delineate conclusively how modern homo sapiens arrived at the top of the food chain. Scientists, therefore, still have a multitude of erudite coffee klatch to bicker over in their quest to explain whence we homos came. A couple of the hominids on the list of evolutionary dead ends were in a Darwinistic sense predestined to ossify into the annals of prehistory. They were either out competed for resources or unable to adapt to climate changes or succumbed to a hitherto unknown disease. These hypotheses are affectionately called the “Kill, Chill or Ill” theories. Recently new DNA evidence has revealed that some ethnic populations around the world have residual DNA from these dead end hominids. The logical conclusion for those traces of extinct DNA must be an alarming rate of sexual interbreeding. In other words, sex, sex and more sex is the key understanding some of the evolutionary dead ends which helped get us on top of the modern food chain.


Homo floresiensis (hobbit)

Era:     95,000 – 17,000 years ago

Habitat:     Island of Flores, Indonesia

Major find:    Near complete female skeleton dating back about 18,000 years ago—in Liang Bua cave       on the island of Flores, Indonesia.

Sex or dead end:   No DNA has been extracted from floresiensis so sex is still an unknown. Best guess now is either kill or chill

Gigantopithecus

Era:     9 million years ago until roughly 100 thousand years ago

Habitat:     Primarily China, India and Vietnam

Major find:    German anthropologist Ralph von Koenigswald found petrified teeth in a Chinese medicine apothecary in 1935

Sex or dead end:   No DNA has been extracted from Gigantopithecus so sex is unlikely. However, sex has been informally postulated because some forensic anthropologists claim Gigantopithecus to be the modern hominid mistaken for global bigfoot sightings.


Ardipithecus Ramidus

Era:     About 4.4 million years ago

Habitat:     Eastern Africa (Middle Awash and Gona, Ethiopia)

Major find:    First fossil remains were found in the Middle Awash area of Ethiopia between 1992 and 1994

Sex or dead end:   The pelvis seems to be designed for bipedalism which would suggest sex. Ardipithecus Ramidus is disinguished from the other Ardipitheci in this fact.


Paranthropus Aethiopicus

Era:     About 2.7 to 2.3 million years ago

Habitat:     Eastern Africa (Turkana basin of northern Kenya, southern Ethiopia)

Major find:    The “Black Skull" west of Lake Turkana in Kenya

Sex or dead end:   Too little is known about Paranthropus Aethiopicus to guess but sex seems to be the best fit. It is closely related to Australopithecus afarensis because it shares many attributes, or the other “robust” australopithecines like P. boisei, which many scientists claim might be a direct descendant of P. aethiopicus

Denisovan

Era:     41,000 years ago to present?


Habitat:     Central Asia, Siberia, Indonesia, Australia, Melanesia

Major find:    finger bone fragment of a juvenile female found in Denisova caves in Siberia

Sex or dead end:   Sex, Sex and more Sex. Much like the residual genes of Neanderthal which homo sapiens carry (e.g. red hair)so too Denisovan gene markers have been found in modern ethnic populations of Indonesia, Australia and Melanesia.

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