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How monkeys can be ancestors to people when monkeys are herbivores but humans are omnivorous?

Maybe it is monkeys that evolved to become omnivorous gradually?

How does the generally accepted theory of human origins explain it?

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    $\begingroup$ Do you have a reference for monkeys being herbivores? $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Mar 11, 2021 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ The first hit on Google's "similar questions" seems to refute that claim pretty solidly. Also, humans and apes share the most recent common ancestors, the closest being chimps $\endgroup$ Mar 11, 2021 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ The following information the first thing to face on websites about human evolution. For examples, with similar quotes: 1. "These and other anatomical features suggest that the early monkeys were becoming mostly diurnal fruit and seed eating forest tree-dwellers." (refer to link) 2. "Herbivores include gorillas, cows, horses, elephants, rhinos and giraffes". (refer to link) $\endgroup$ Mar 11, 2021 at 18:02
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    – tyersome
    Mar 11, 2021 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ I have found that when learning about a new area starting with a relatively accessible and reliable source like Khan Academy is very helpful. Wikipedia is also generally a good starting point and you can then check their references. Online platforms called MOOCs offer free (or very low cost) courses on a wide variety of subjects — two I am familiar with are Coursera and edX. Finally, textbooks with a good level of detail are also freely available online e.g. from NCBI. $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Mar 11, 2021 at 19:48

1 Answer 1

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Ok, so there are several erroneous assumptions here:

  1. Monkeys are not the ancestors of humans. Both humans AND monkeys share a common ancestor: an animal species that was neither monkey nor human.
  2. The evolution of diet specialization is one of the most common phenomena in evolutionary biology. It is totally plausible for a species to evolve an omnivorous diet from a vegetarian one, and vice-versa. So you cannot use diet-specialization as a way of inferring the ancestry of a group of species (there may be some inferences done with diet-specialization and phylogenetic evolution but it is usually to re-confirm other types of data).

So, to sum-up, monkeys ARE NOT the ancestors of humans. Both monkeys and humans have a common ancestor, an animal that could have been herbivore or omnivore.

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  • $\begingroup$ Also we do have our own veggies. $\endgroup$
    – Winston
    Mar 12, 2021 at 11:37

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