Elephant: The First Primate?

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    • #16376

      Elephant: The First Primate?

      April 16, 2012

      Humans and elephants appear to be evolutionary versions of the same species quite closely related on the family tree. Take another look and consider that humans evolved from elephant ancestors.

      Our big brother is still with us today. Note the opposable thumbs.

      Despite their large size elephants are otherwise just like ourselves and our skeletons are basically the same. The hands of the elephant are just like ours complete with opposable thumbs. Gomphotherium sp., early elephant ancestor [3.6 – 13.6 mya] still had enamel on its incisors/tusks* which might be an indicator of when our two species diverged. It may be the case that some monkey species split off from the elephant without ever crossing evolutionary paths with humans which would explain a lot since some monkeys do not seem to have much in common with humans at all. At the very least we must now consider the possibility of direct elephant/human evolution when we examine our links from the past.

      What else is similar between human and elephant?

      Both are mammals.
      Both have the same life span.
      Both are highly intelligent.
      Both have complex language and communication.
      Both care for their young over a long time.
      Elephants have humor.
      They are highly social creatures just like us.
      They play, they learn, they morn, they remember.
      The elephant brain is larger than ours, however, and it appears to be more complex.
      We have similar body hair and baldness.
      They have molars like ours while our incisors are like their tusks*.
      They even have chins just like us.
      Elbows, knee caps, heels are all the very same.
      Hips, neck, and shoulder bones are the same, too.
      We still even sport a little trunk we call a nose.
      We have two nipples and our legs bend in the same way.
      Elephants have arms and legs just like ours.
      Elephants are compassionate and they empathize.
      Continue adding to list.

      Genetics and Human Evolution

      According to a recent scientific paper, "Genetics has played an increasingly important role in studies of the last two million years of human evolution. It initially appeared that genetic data resolved the basic models of recent human evolution in favor of the “out-of-Africa replacement” hypothesis in which anatomically modern humans evolved in Africa about 150,000 years ago, started to spread throughout the world about 100,000 years ago, and subsequently drove to complete genetic extinction (replacement) all other human populations in Eurasia. Unfortunately, many of the genetic studies on recent human evolution have suffered from scientific flaws, including misrepresenting the models of recent human evolution, focusing upon hypothesis compatibility rather than hypothesis testing, committing the ecological fallacy, and failing to consider a broader array of alternative hypotheses. Once these flaws are corrected, there is actually little genetic support for the out-of-Africa replacement hypothesis. Indeed, when genetic data are used in a hypothesis-testing framework, the out-of-Africa replacement hypothesis is strongly rejected. The model of recent human evolution that emerges from a statistical hypothesis-testing framework does not correspond to any of the traditional models of human evolution, but it is compatible with fossil and archaeological data*."

      * Sources

      – Wikipedia, 4/16/2012 "Unlike modern elephants, the upper tusks of Gomphotherium sp. were covered by a layer of enamel."
      – "Genetics and Recent Human Evolution", http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 … 0164.x/pdf, 4/19/2007, doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2007.00164.x, by Alan R. Templeton, Dept. of Biology, Washington University, Missouri and The Society for the Study of Evolution, Evolution 61-7: 1507–1519

    • #110801

      Primates are certainly more closely related to odd toed ungulates than to even, but I think that is about as far as it goes. Very interesting thought though. Are we equally closely related to walrus or narwhal, or manatees? The origina mermaids! Wouldn’t that be a turn up for the books!
      Seriously though, I always thought that ivory was thick enamel. Are they different substances then?

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