great apes





Million Years Ago (TTOL)
Mean: 20.19 Mya
Median: 19.80 Mya


great apes



20.2 Million Years Ago (TTOL)

19.8 Mya (median, 61 studies)

Click on timescale or black dots for more info.

Molecular Time Estimates

*Note: If you would like to suggest your publication for inclusion, and it is not yet in TimeTree (see list of studies), you can send us the reference information for the publication using the contact page.

Time Reference Year
18.8 Antonelli et al. 2017
18.2 Di Fiore et al. 2015
24.0 Kistler et al. 2015
20.3 Padhi et al. 2015
19.3 Das et al. 2014
22.3 Pozzi et al. 2014
33.8 Davies et al. 2013
20.8 Schrago et al. 2013
19.9 Psouni et al. 2012
20.1 Schrago et al. 2012
32.4 Liu et al. 2012
19.8 dos Reis et al. 2012
16.9 Chan et al. 2012
14.5 Soria-Carrasco et al. 2012
19.4 Chiou et al. 2011
16.0 Meredith et al. 2011
20.3 Perelman et al. 2011
21.8 Israfil et al. 2011
17.2 Bjork et al. 2011
19.2 Chan et al. 2010
20.3 Matsudaira et al. 2010
16.3 Thinh et al. 2010
19.9 Matsui et al. 2009
21.9 Fritz et al. 2009
19.5 Fabre et al. 2009
19.2 Hodgson et al. 2009
18.8 Hedges et al. 2009
17.1 Kitazoe et al. 2007
19.8 Yang et al. 2006
13.0 Poux et al. 2006
17.1 Raaum et al. 2005
26.1 Switzer et al. 2005
17.9 Eizirik et al. 2004
19.0 Seo et al. 2004
21.7 Hasegawa et al. 2003
15.3 Glazko et al. 2003
16.9 Schrago et al. 2003
32.0 Arnason et al. 2002
21.3 Porter et al. 2002
14.9 Stauffer et al. 2001
21.6 Nikaido et al. 2001
20.0 Otsuka et al. 2001
35.0 Arnason et al. 2000
20.4 Cao et al. 2000
31.6 Arnason et al. 2000
23.2 Huelsenbeck et al. 2000
21.2 Yoder et al. 2000
14.6 Kumar et al. 1998
18.0 Goodman et al. 1998
11.5 Easteal et al. 1997
34.2 Arnason et al. 1996
17.3 Bailey et al. 1991
15.6 Hasegawa et al. 1987
13.3 Hasegawa et al. 1985

CAUTION: We recommend that the users carefully examine individual study results provided before using summary information.

How It Works

Two species or higher taxa are queried (e.g., cat and dog).

TimeTree looks for these species in the TTOL to find their most recent common ancestor and produces the time estimate available. All studies with published times of divergence for that evolutionary split are shown in a Table format. When one or both of the species are not present in TTOL, the NCBI taxonomy is scanned to find the closest relatives of the species or higher taxa requested by the user. Then, those taxa are used as proxies and the most recent common ancestor identified to generate the final time estimates.



The TimeTree of Life from an assembly of all individual timetrees from the Time Tree of Life book. Order an offset print or download the file to print your own.


On our Results page, you can download all individual time estimates and study data associated with the query. The iPhone and iPad apps, and all chapters of the Timetree of Life book, can be downloaded by using their respective links. In addition, we will soon make available a facility to download timetrees consisting of multiple species, where users will also be able to input their own species trees. These facilities will be available for a large number of species (>50,000 species) as soon as we complete the processing and synthesis of results from over 2000 studies into this resource. In the meantime, we provide the >50,000-species timetree of life as a download here.

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