Killing a Legacy

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The gorilla is one of the most fascinating primates known to man, whose evolutionary history has been shrouded in mystery for many years. However, with the advent of DNA sequencing, this great ape’s genealogical history is now coming to light, which is perhaps a contradiction of what was formerly the conventional wisdom of the phylogenetic category of the gorilla. The perception of this great ape was once that of a brutish and aggressive animal, who was to be feared and avoided; yet, through scientific research a newfound understanding of the gorilla was adopted in the mid-nineteenth century. The gorilla has been persistently studied in its natural habitat in the mountain and lowland rainforest regions throughout various parts of Africa, which has enriched mankind’s understanding of this gentle and family oriented creature.
Molecular phylogeny was the long held standard for the evolutionary tree of primates and other living creatures; however, DNA sequencing has become the popular and more reliable replacement for this form of classification (Brown, 2002). In March of 2012 “a multi-national group of researchers” announced that the gorilla genome had been sequenced ("Gorilla genome sequenced". 2012), which led to a greater understanding of gorilla and human evolution. According to the “Gorilla genome sequenced,” the disclosures provided by the genome sequencing include corresponding evolutionary patterns that were similar in the development of “hearing perception,” which developed rather quickly in both human and gorilla species, illustrating a similar degree of evolutionary processes. (2012). This finding would refute the earlier held contention that hearing was correlated to speech and shows that the similarities are more profou...

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Scally, A., et. al (2012). Insights into hominid evolution from the gorilla genome sequence. Nature, 483 (7388), 169-175. doi:10.1038/nature10842
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