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Orangutans, not chimpanzees, are the closest living relatives to humans, a controversial new study contends.
The authors base their conclusion on a close physical resemblance between orangutans and humans, which they say has been overshadowed by genetic evidence linking us to chimps.
What's more, the study authors argue, the genetic evidence itself is flawed. (Get a genetics overview.)
What's more, the genetic similarities likely include many ancient DNA traits that are shared across a much broader group of animals.
By contrast, humans share at least 28 unique physical characteristics with orangutans but only 2 with chimps and 7 with gorillas, the authors say.
But looking at physical traits rather than genetic ones, orangutans are a better match, Grehan and Schwartz say.
With the sequencing of the chimpanzee genome in 2005, scientists found direct proof that humans and chimps are 96 percent the same genetically.
Originally posted by dooper
Good work, but those researchers have never met my ex-son-in-law.
Somewhere between Neanderthal and Australopithicus Aferensis.