Dating of the human ape splitting by a molecular clock

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Genetic and cytogenetic variation of African root-rats Tachyoryctes splendens (Mammalia: Rodentia) from Ethiopia Lavrenchenko L. Three of them possess unique karyotypes while chromosomal characteristics of the Eastern lineage remain unknown.

The molecular genetic analysis reveals genetic subdivision including at least four allopatric and deeply divergent mitochondrial lineages, restricted to the Simien Mountains and the Northern, Southern and Eastern parts of the Ethiopian Plateau.

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There is no fossil species that is clearly a close relative of the gorilla, chimpanzee, or gibbon.

It has been debated whether species from 8 million years ago is orangutan-like, postcranial features and the morphology of the cheek teeth have suggested affinities with archaic hominoids (Pilbeam 1996).

Although the relationships of the living hominoid primates (humans and apes) are well known, the relationships of the fossil species, times of divergence of both living and fossil species, and the biogeographic history of hominoids are not well established.

Divergence times of living species, estimated from molecular clocks, have the potential to constrain hypotheses of the relationships of fossil species.

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Analyzing DNA from present-day and ancient genomes provides a complementary approach for dating evolutionary events.

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has been underestimated due to its apparent cryptic diversification.

Results of this study suggest that the real diversity of Ethiopian Tachyoryctes splendens s.l.

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