Definition of “hominid” (Reference: www.answers.com)

Any member of the zoological family Hominidae (order Primates), which consists
of the great apes (chimpanzees,gorillas, orangutans) as well as human beings. Formerly,only humans (with their extinct forebears) were categorized as hominids, and the great apes were categorized as pongids-that is, members of the primate family
Pongidae. However, morphological and molecular studies now indicate that humans
are closely related to chimpanzees, while gorillas are more distant and
orangutans more distant still. As a result, it has become more common among
zoologists to consider humans and
great apes to be hominids.

The biological family that includes our species, homo sapiens This family has also
included neanderthal and other forerunners oftoday’s humans, such as australopythecus, homo erectus, and Homohabilis. Today’s human beings are the only surviving hominids.

Certain morphological characteristics are still used conventionally (though incorrectly) to support the idea that hominid should only denote humans and human ancestors, namely bipedalism and large brains. These points of departure between human beings and the other great apes are important, but taxonomically do not divide us into separate families. genetics, rather than morphology, is the critical test of relatedness and in this respect humans and the other great apes ought to be of the same family.

It looks like bipedalism and large brains do not help us to shun the company of our hairy cousins .

http://www.answers.com/hominid?gwp=11&ver=2.0.0.453&method=3


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