gorillas are most closely related and that orangutans and gibbons diverged from the other apes at a much earlier date. Growing evidence favors a close relationship between humans and chimpanzees ( < Figure 23.25).

Because molecular data can be collected from virtually any organism, comparisons can be made between evolu tionary distant organisms. For example, DNA sequences have been used to examine the primary divisions of life and to construct universal phylogenies. On the basis of 16S rRNA, Norman Pace and his colleagues constructed a universal tree of life that included all the major groups of organisms (Figure 23.26). The results of their studies

Ifl Do humans and chimpanzees have the more recent ancestor?.

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