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Hominid is the informal name for any member of the taxonomic family Hominidae. It is widely used in two contexts.
- It has been traditionally used in paleoanthropology to refer to modern humans and their ancestors and relatives back to the split from the ancestry of chimpanzees, and other modern non-humans like Neanderthals. More recently, the term "hominin" has been gaining in popularity for these human relatives, as the informal term for a member of the taxonomic tribe Hominini. In this version, the Hominidae are divided into the Pongini, representing the orangutans; and the Hominini, containing the gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans, and their extinct relatives. (Wikipedia prefers "hominan", the informal term for a member of the subtribe Hominina, for Wikipedia includes chimps and bonobos in the same tribe with humans.)
- In taxonomy, it can refer to humans, as well as the great apes, including chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and their evolutionary ancestors back to the split from the ancestry of gibbons (the lesser apes). This technical definition is preferred by biologists, as per the Linnaean System of Classification which groups organisms together by their ancestry. In older taxonomies, the only modern representative of the Hominidae were humans, and there was a distinct subfamily Pongidae of great apes.
Hominina is a subtribe of the Hominids which contains the genera Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, Ardipithecus, Kenyanthropus, Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and Homo. In other words, it contains the group of all bipedal apes. The genus first emerged some seven million years ago. The only currently living member of Hominina is Homo sapiens.