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Darwin-L Message Log 2:147 (October 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<2:147>From LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU  Fri Oct 29 08:52:10 1993

Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1993 08:52:10 -0500
From: "JOHN LANGDON"  <LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Re: caveman

In message <9310291248.AA37776@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>  writes:

> Is this in any way related to the naming of the chimpanzee as
> _Pan troglodytes_? Obviously, the species was named long before
> anyone in Europe knew much about the ecology or behavior of wild
> chimpanzees--so why does their scientific name characterize them as
> cave dwellers?

Pan troglodytes was named in 1788, according to Szalay and Delson. If anyone
wants to track this down, the reference given is

JF Gmelin, ed., 1788. Systema Naturae (C. Linnaeus) 13th ed. Vol. 1. G.E. Beer,
Leipzig.

Knowledge of the existence of the apes through word of mouth and later through
cadavers greatly preceded any understanding of their natural history. I suspect
this is another example where European folklore appeared to be confirmed and
the describers jumped to a wrong conclusion.

JOHN H. LANGDON      email LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY    FAX  (317) 788-3569
UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS   PHONE (317) 788-3447
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46227

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