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"Hominid" is the informal name for any member of the zoological taxonomic family Hominidae. It is widely used in two contexts:
- Paleoanthropology traditionally used the term 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, "hominids" can refer to humans, as well as to the great apes, including chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and to their evolutionary ancestors back to the split from the ancestry of gibbons (the "lesser apes"). Biologists prefer this technical definition, as per the Linnaean System of Classification - which groups organisms together by their ancestry. In older taxonomies, the only modern representatives of the Hominidae were humans, and a distinct subfamily (Pongidae) dealt with the great apes.
Hominini is a subtribe of the Hominids which contains the genera Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, Ardipithecus, Kenyanthropus, Australopithecus, Paranthropus, Pan, 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 members of Hominini are Homo sapiens, Pan troglodytes, and Pan paniscus.