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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Cladistic analysis is employed on behavioral and organizational patterns among present-day great apes that, because of their genetic closeness to humans, can be used as a surrogate for making inferences about the behavior and organizational propensities of the last common ancestor to great apes, hominins, and humans. A series of preadaptations among great apes for language, emotionality, mother–infant bonding, life history characteristics, propensities for play, and nonharem/promiscuous mating represents one source of information on the nature of the last common ancestor. Moreover, a set of behavioral propensities among all great apes adds to the body of information that can be used to make inferences about the nature of the last common ancestors, hominins, and humans. Thus, it is now possible to make inferences about the biological nature of human behavior and organizational tendencies that are less speculative than earlier analyses of human nature.

Keywords: evolution, natural selection, cladistic analysis, primates, pre-adaptations, behavioral propensities, neurology

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