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A most distant intergeneric hybrid offspring (Larcon) of lesser apes, Nomascus leucogenys and Hylobates lar

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Unlike humans, which are the sole remaining representatives of a once larger group of bipedal apes (hominins), the “lesser apes” (hylobatids) are a diverse radiation with numerous extant species. Consequently, the lesser apes can provide a valuable evolutionary window onto the possible interactions (e.g., interbreeding) of hominin lineages coexisting in the same time and place. In the present work, we employ chromosomal analyses to verify the hybrid ancestry of an individual (Larcon) produced by two of the most distant genera of lesser apes, Hylobates (lar-group gibbons) and Nomascus (concolor-group gibbons). In addition to a mixed pelage pattern, the hybrid animal carries a 48-chromosome karyotype that consists of the haploid complements of each parental species: Hylobates lar (n = 22) and Nomascus leucogenys leucogenys (n = 26). Studies of this animal’s karyotype shed light onto the processes of speciation and genus-level divergence in the lesser apes and, by extension, across the Hominoidea.

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We thank C. P. Groves for his valuable comments to the manuscript and A. Tosi for his critical reading and revising of the manuscript. This study was supported by the twenty-first century COE (A14) and the Global COE (A06).

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Correspondence to Hirohisa Hirai.

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Hirai, H., Hirai, Y., Domae, H. et al. A most distant intergeneric hybrid offspring (Larcon) of lesser apes, Nomascus leucogenys and Hylobates lar . Hum Genet 122, 477–483 (2007).

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  • Chromosome Painting
  • Hybrid Offspring
  • Nucleolar Dominance
  • Cheek Patch
  • Pelage Pattern