David's theory of evolution: speciation is designed (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 09, 2019, 19:55 (323 days ago) @ David Turell

This is a Darwinian article about primate femurs as adaptation to environment. It is pure supposition which parallels dhw thinking:


"In terms of their body plan, Old World monkeys—a group that includes primates like baboons and macaques—are generally considered more similar to ancestral species than apes are. But a new study that analyzes the first well-preserved femur of Aegyptopithecus zeuxis, a common ancestor of Old World monkeys and apes, suggests that as far as locomotion goes, apes and Old World monkeys each evolved a way of moving that was different from the ancestral species as they adapted to different niches in their environments.

"'Our study shows that Aegyptopithecus preserves an ancient hip morphology not present in living anthropoid primates," said Sergio Almécija, a paleoanthropologist, who is first author on the study. "As far as the hip is concerned, it seems that apes, humans, and Old World monkeys have all parted ways long ago—which would explain why they move around so differently today."

"The fossil analyzed in the study was discovered in 2009 and is the most complete femur of Aegyptopithecus, a 15-lb (7-kg) likely tree-dwelling species that lived in Egypt about 30 million years ago, close to the time when hominoids (the group that includes apes and humans) split from the larger group that includes Old World monkeys. A well-preserved femur allowed researchers to glean details about the hip joint, a major anatomical region for inferring locomotion, using a combination of 3-D morphometric analysis and evolutionary modeling.


"The results indicate that the ancestral hip joint is, from an evolutionary perspective, as far from the hip joint of modern Old World monkeys as from those of the great apes—suggesting that each group evolved a distinct way of moving as they specialized for success in different environmental niches.

"In addition, evolutionary modeling suggests that living great apes—including orangutans, chimpanzees, and gorillas—may have independently developed similar hip joint anatomy that allows wide-ranging, flexible movement through their arboreal habitats.

"'What I find really exciting about the modeling approach is that we can develop better hypotheses about what drove the divergence of apes and monkeys, and the emerging picture is that navigating the environment is one of the key factors," said Ashley Hammond, assistant curator in the Division of Anthropology and an author on the study."

Comment: it all sounds very logical, but it is pure conjecture, since it does not explain how the new species were designed. See next entry re' Stephen L. Talbott on natural selection

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