Yet act we do; as George Will once noted, 'All politics takes place on a slippery slope. Allowing gay marriage puts us on the slippery slope to polygamy and bestiality, opponents say; gun registration would start us sliding into the unconstitutional morass of universal arms confiscation. UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh points out that metaphors like the slippery slope 'often start by enriching our vision and end by clouding it.
In the press, the phrase ' slippery slope ' is more than seven times as common as it was twenty years ago. It's a convenient way of warning of the dire effects of some course of action without actually having to criticize the action itself, which is what makes it a favorite ploy of hypocrites: 'Not that there's anything wrong with A, mind you, but A will lead to B and then C, and before you know it we'll be up to our armpits in Z.
Note, also, that what some see as the undesirable consequence lurking at the bottom of the slope others may regard as very desirable indeed. You open the gate for one, you open it for all and you'll have it all over the city. A person wanting to paint on buildings is nothing more than upscale graffiti. More than likely it will go too far. Even if the former can be justified, the latter clearly cannot. Hence, it is better that the first step legalizing voluntary euthanasia not be taken so as to prevent a slide into non-volunteer euthanasia.
They are the sister group of the Old World monkeystogether forming the catarrhine clade. They are distinguished from other primates by a wider degree of freedom of motion at the shoulder joint as evolved by the influence of brachiation. In traditional and non-scientific use, the term "ape" excludes humans, and can include tailless primates taxonomically considered monkeys such as the Barbary ape and black apeand is thus not equivalent to the scientific taxon Hominoidea.
There are two extant branches of the superfamily Hominoidea: the gibbonsor lesser apes; and the hominidsor great apes. Except for gorillas and humans, hominoids are agile climbers of trees. Apes eat a variety of plant and animal foods, with the majority of food being plant foods, which can include fruit, leaves, stalks, roots and seeds, including nuts and grass seeds.
Human diets are sometimes substantially different from that of other hominoids due in part to the development of technology and a wide range of habitation. Humans are by far the most numerous of the hominoid species, in fact outnumbering all other primates by a factor of several thousand to one.
All non-human hominoids are rare and endangered. The great apes of Africa are also facing threat from the Ebola virus. Currently considered to be the greatest threat to survival of African apes, Ebola infection is responsible for the death of at least one third of all gorillas and chimpanzees since Its earliest meaning was generally of any non-human anthropoid primate, [c] as is still the case for its cognates in other Germanic languages.
Some, or recently all, hominoids are also called "apes", but the term is used broadly and has several different senses within both popular and scientific settings. So "ape"—not to be confused with "great ape"—now becomes another word for hominoid including humans. The taxonomic term hominoid is derived from, and intended as encompassing, the hominidsthe family of great apes.
Both terms were Monkeys Evolution by Gray The term hominins is also due to Grayintended as including the human lineage see also Hominidae TerminologyHuman taxonomy. The distinction between apes and monkeys is complicated by the traditional paraphyly of monkeys: Apes emerged as a sister group of Old World Monkeys in the catarrhineswhich are a sister group of New World Monkeys. Therefore, cladisticallyapes, catarrhines and related contemporary extinct groups such as Parapithecidaea are monkeys as well, for any consistent definition of "monkey".
The primates called "apes" today became known to Europeans after the 18th century. As zoological Monkeys Evolution developed, it became clear that taillessness occurred in a number of different and otherwise distantly related species. Sir Wilfrid Le Gros Clark was one of those primatologists who developed the idea that there were trends in primate evolution and that the extant members of the order could be arranged in an ".
Within this tradition "ape" came to refer to all members of the superfamily Hominoidea except humans. Traditionally, the English-language vernacular name "apes" does not include humans, but phylogenetically, humans Homo form part of the family Hominidae within Hominoidaea. Thus, there are at least three common, or traditional, uses of the term "ape": non-specialists may not distinguish between "monkeys" and "apes", that is, they may use the two terms interchangeably; or they may use "ape" for any tailless monkey or non-human hominoid; or they may use the term "ape" to just mean the non-human hominoids.
Modern taxonomy aims for the use of monophyletic groups for taxonomic classification;  [f] Some literature may now use the common name "ape" to mean all members of the superfamily Hominoidea, including humans. For example, in his book, Benton wrote "The apes, Hominoidea, today include the gibbons and orang-utan Scientists broadly, other than paleoanthropologists, may use the term " hominin " to identify the human cladereplacing the term " hominid ".
See terminology of primate names. See below, History of hominoid taxonomyfor a discussion of changes in scientific classification and terminology regarding hominoids. Although the hominoid fossil record is still incomplete and fragmentary, there is now enough evidence to provide an outline of the evolutionary history of humans.
Previously, the divergence between humans and other extant hominoids was thought to have occurred 15 to 20 million years ago, and several species of that time period, such as Ramapithecuswere once thought to be hominins and possible ancestors of humans. But, later fossil finds indicated that Ramapithecus was more closely related to the orangutan; and new biochemical evidence indicates that the last common ancestor of humans and non-hominins that is, the chimpanzees occurred between 5 and 10 million years ago, and probably nearer the lower end of that range; see Chimpanzee—human last common ancestor CHLCA.
Genetic analysis combined with fossil evidence indicates that hominoids diverged from the Old World monkeys about 25 million years ago myanear the Oligocene-Miocene boundary. Crown Cercopithecoidea. Cercopithecoidea Old World monkeys. The history of hominoid taxonomy is complex and somewhat confusing. Recent evidence has changed our understanding of the relationships between the hominoids, especially regarding the human lineage; and Monkeys Evolution traditionally used terms have become somewhat confused.
Competing approaches to methodology and terminology are found among current scientific sources. Over time, authorities have changed the names and the meanings of names of groups and subgroups as new evidence — that is, new discoveries of fossils and tools and of observations in the field, plus continual comparisons of anatomy and DNA sequences — has changed the understanding of relationships between hominoids.
There has been a gradual demotion of humans from being 'special' in the taxonomy to being one branch among many. This recent turmoil of history illustrates the growing influence on all taxonomy of cladisticsthe science of classifying living things strictly according to their lines of descent.
Today, there are eight extant genera of hominoids. They are the four genera in the family Hominidae, namely HomoPanGorillaand Pongo ; plus four genera in the family Hylobatidae gibbons : HylobatesHoolockNomascus and Symphalangus. InCarl Linnaeusrelying on second- or third-hand accounts, placed a second species in Homo along with H.
Although the term "Orang Outang" is listed as a variety — Homo sylvestris — under this species, it is nevertheless not clear to which animal this name refers, as Linnaeus had no specimen to refer to, hence no precise description.
Linnaeus may have based Homo troglodytes on reports of mythical creatures, then-unidentified simiansor Asian natives dressed in animal skins. He placed the three genera HomoSimia and Lemur in the order of Primates. The troglodytes name was used for the chimpanzee by Blumenbach inbut moved to the genus Simia. Linnaeus's inclusion of humans in the primates with monkeys and apes was troubling for people who denied a close relationship between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom.
Linnaeus's Lutheran archbishop had accused him of "impiety". It is not pleasing to me that I must place humans among the primates, but man is intimately familiar with himself. Let's not quibble over words. It will be the same to me whatever name is applied. But I desperately seek from you and from the whole world a general difference between men and simians from the principles of Natural History.
I certainly know of none. If only someone might tell me one! If I called man a simian or vice versa I would bring together all the theologians against me. Perhaps I ought to, in accordance with the law of Natural History.
Accordingly, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach in the first edition of his Manual of Natural Historyproposed that the primates be divided into the Quadrumana four-handed, i. This distinction was taken up by other naturalists, most notably Georges Cuvier.
Some elevated the distinction to the level of order. However, the many affinities between humans and other primates — and especially the "great apes" — made it clear that the distinction made no scientific sense. The greater number of naturalists who have taken into consideration the whole structure of man, Monkeys Evolution his mental faculties, have followed Blumenbach and Cuvier, and have placed man in a separate Order, under the title of the Bimana, and therefore on an equality with the orders of the Quadrumana, Carnivora, etc.
Recently many of our best naturalists have recurred to the view first propounded by Linnaeus, so remarkable for his sagacity, and have placed man in the same Order with the Quadrumana, under the title of the Primates. The justice of this conclusion will be admitted: for in the first place, we must bear in mind the comparative insignificance for classification of the great development of the brain in man, and that the strongly marked differences between the skulls of man and the Quadrumana lately insisted upon by BischoffAebyand others apparently follow from their differently developed brains.
In the second place, we must remember that nearly all the other and more important differences between man and the Quadrumana are manifestly adaptive in their nature, and relate chiefly to the erect position of man; such as the structure of his hand, foot, and pelvis, the curvature of his spine, and the position of his head. The lesser apes are the gibbon family, Hylobatidae, of sixteen species; all are native to Asia.
Their major differentiating characteristic is their long arms, which they use to brachiate through trees. Their Monkeys Evolution are ball and socket joints as an evolutionary adaptation to their arboreal lifestyle. Generally smaller than the African apes, the largest gibbon, the siamangweighs up to 14 kg 31 lb ; in comparison, the smallest "great ape", the bonobois 34 to 60 kg 75 to lb.
The superfamily Hominoidea falls within the parvorder Catarrhiniwhich also includes the Old World monkeys of Africa and Eurasia. Within this grouping, the two families Hylobatidae and Hominidae can be distinguished from Old World monkeys by the number of cusps on their molars ; hominoids have five in the "Y-5" molar pattern, whereas Old World monkeys have only four in a bilophodont pattern.
Further, in comparison with Old World monkeys, hominoids are noted for: more mobile shoulder joints and Monkeys Evolution due to the dorsal position of the scapula ; broader ribcages that are flatter front-to-back; and a shorter, less mobile spine, with greatly reduced caudal tail vertebrae—resulting in complete loss of the tail in extant hominoid species.
These are anatomical adaptations, first, to vertical hanging and swinging locomotion brachiation and, later, to developing balance in a bipedal pose. Note there are primates in other families that also lack tails, and at least one, the pig-tailed languris known to walk significant distances bipedally.
The front of the ape skull is characterised by its sinuses, fusion of the frontal bone, and by post-orbital constriction. Cladisticallyapes, catarrhines, and extinct species such as Aegyptopithecus and Parapithecidaeaare monkeys, [ citation needed ] so one can only specify ape features not present in other monkeys. Unlike most monkeysapes do not possess a tail. Monkeys are more likely to be in trees and use their tails for balance. While the great apes are considerably larger than monkeys, gibbons lesser apes are smaller than some monkeys.
Apes are considered to be more intelligent than monkeys, which are considered to have more primitive brains. Major studies of behaviour in the field were completed on the three better-known "great apes", for example by Jane GoodallDian Fossey and Birute Galdikas.
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