Epc exhibit 132 18 October 16th, 2009

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EPC Exhibit 132 18

October 16th, 2009

Decimal Classification Division
To: Caroline Kent, Chair

Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee

Cc: Members of the Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee

Karl E. Debus-López, Chief, U.S. General Division

From: Giles Martin, Assistant Editor

Dewey Decimal Classification

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
Via: Joan S. Mitchell, Editor in Chief

Dewey Decimal Classification

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
Re: 569.88, 569.9, 599.88, 599.9 Hominidae, Pongidae, Hylobatidae

There is a problem in 569 and 599 with the treatment of the taxonomic group that includes the genera Gorilla, Homo, Pan, and Pongo and that is usually referred to by the common name “great apes.” Dewey reflects older taxonomic practice which split the group into two families: Pongidae which included Gorilla, Pan, and Pongo; and Hominidae which included Homo and some closely related extinct genera such as Australopithecus.

This taxonomic practice is no longer acceptable because the genus Pan (the chimpanzees) are more closely related to Homo sapiens than it is to the other great apes, and in turn the genus Gorilla is more closely related to Pan and Homo than it is to Pongo (the orangutan). So the old family Pongidae is no longer regarded as monophyletic, because the most recent common ancestor of Gorilla, Pan, and Pongo was also our ancestor, and Hominidae now usually refers to the family including all four genera of great apes.

This means that we need to change the captions at 599.88 and 599.9, together with the related captions at 569.9 and the see reference at 569.8.

There is a difficulty with the caption at 569.9, because how many genera might be included there is controversial. Some taxonomists would identify this as the tribe Homini, but others would include the genus Pan in the tribe Homini. I’ve avoided making a decision on this by using the caption “Homo and related genera.” It should be clear from the context and the definition note that this means genera more closely related to Homo than to Pan.

Online sources that classify the four genera (Gorilla, Homo, Pan, and Pongo) as part of the family Hominidae include:

  • Britannica Online - http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/270333/Hominidae

  • Encyclopedia of Life - http://www.eol.org/pages/1653

  • ITIS, the Integrated Taxonomic Information System - http://www.itis.gov/

  • Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hominidae

  • Wilson & Reeder’s Mammal Species of the World, 3rd ed. - http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3/browse.asp?id=12100786

In addition, I’ve added “(Gorillas)” as the common name of the genus Gorilla, since there are two species of Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla beringei), and I’ve corrected the spelling of “Australopithecus.”

569.8 Primates

Class here Anthropoidea, monkeys

Add to base number 569.8 the numbers following 599.8 in 599.83–599.88, e.g., Pongidae Hominidae 569.88

Class Tupaiidae in 569.338

For Hominidae Homo and related genera, see 569.9

569.9 Hominidae Homo and related genera

Humans and forebears, including species and genera that are more closely related to the species Homo sapiens than to any other living species, e.g., Ardipithecus

Including Piltdown forgery

Class here genus Homo

Class putative ancestors of Australopithicus, e.g., Ramapithecus, in 569.88

569.93 Australopithicus Australopithecus

Including Paranthropus, Plesianthropus

Class here australopithecines

Class australopithecines not assigned to genus Australopithicus Australopithecus in 569.9

569.97 Homo erectus

Including Heidelberg man, Java man, Peking man

569.98 Homo sapiens

Including Cro-Magnon man, Kabwe (Rhodesian) man

569.986 Homo sapiens neanderthalis (Neanderthals)

599.8 *Primates

Class here Anthropoidea, monkeys


> 599.84–599.88 Anthropoidea

Class comprehensive works in 599.8

For Hominidae , see 599.9

599.88 *Pongidae Hominidae and Hylobatidae

Variant name for Pongidae Hominidae: great apes

Class here apes, comprehensive works on Hominoidea

Subdivisions are added for Pongidae Hominidae and Hylobatidae together, for Pongidae Hominidae alone

For Hominidae Homo sapiens, see 599.9

599.882 *Hylobatidae (Gibbons)

Including siamang

Class here Hylobates


> 599.883–599.885 Specific Pongidae Hominidae (Great apes) other than Homo sapiens

Class comprehensive works in 599.88

599.883 *Pongo (Orangutan)

599.884 *Gorilla (Gorillas)

599.885 *Pan (Chimpanzees)

Subdivisions are added for the genus as a whole and for individual species

599.9 *Hominidae Homo sapiens (Humans)

Class here physical anthropology

Class social anthropology, interdisciplinary works on social and physical anthropology in 306

For psychology, see 150; for prehistoric Hominidae Homo and related genera, see 569.9; for medicine, see 610

599.938 Evolution

For paleontology of hominidae Homo and related genera, see 569.9

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