‘Hominid’ is the term traditionally used to refer to the human clade, that is, all the extinct taxa that are more closely related to modern humans than they are to any other living animal. Given the molecular and other evidence for the close relationship between modern humans and the other higher primates (chimps, gorilla and the orang), there is an emerging consensus that the latter should be included in the Hominidae.

Keywords: hominin; hominid; homo sapiens; tribe; fossil

Further Reading

Brunet M, Guy F, Pilbeam D, et al. (2002) A new hominid from the Upper Miocene of Chad, Central Africa. Nature 418: 145–151.

Gagneux P and Varki A (2001) Genetic differences between humans and great apes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 18(1): 2–13.

Hartwig WC (2002) The Primate Fossil Record. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Wildman D, Grossman LI and Goodman M (2002) Functional DNA in humans and chimpanzees shows they are more similar to each other than either is to apes. In: Goodman M and Moffat AS (eds.) Probing Human Origins, pp. 1–10. Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Wood B (2002) Hominid revelations from Chad. Nature 418: 133.

Wood B and Richmond BG (2000) Human evolution: taxonomy and paleobiology. Journal of Anatomy 196: 19–60.

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How to Cite close
Wood, Bernard(Jul 2006) Hominids. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005299]