Chimpanzee Versus Humans Similarities

Chimpanzee Versus Humans: Similarities & Differences Essay, Research Paper

Chimpanzee versus Humans: Similarities & Differences

Since the first days of human thought into their beginnings, chimpanzees

have played a vital role in showing who we were. The chimpanzee, one of the

great apes, makes it home in the forests of Central and West Africa. Their long

arms and legs adapt them for living in such regions as lowland jungles and

mountainous regions. Humans are classified in the order Primates, and family

Hominade. Within this family, human beings, our nearest living relatives, the

African apes, are also placed. Though in some classification standards, apes

are placed in the family Pongidae.

The defining characteristic of Hominids is their ability to walk

bipedally, using two feet and walking upright. This form of movement lead to

many adaptations within the Hominids skeleton. There are notable changes in the

spinal cord, pelvis bone and legs. The chimpanzee does have the ability to walk

upright and does, but it spends most of the time walking on four limbs. It uses

it?s arms as it?s front legs and walks on it?s knuckles. Our brain capacity is

about twice as large as that of the chimp. Humans have a brain capacity of 1300

to 1500 cc, while the chimps are about 600 – 800 cc. It is though by scientists

that our brain size grew over time as were evolved into making complex tools and

we became increasingly sophisticated. The human skull is slightly different

from that of our primate ancestors, these changes occurred over thousands of

years of evolution. Over time the humans skull and teeth have decreased from

that of our ancestors. The chimp has much larger canine teeth and a protruding

jaw line. A similarities though can be seen on how uniform the layout of teeth

are between the humans and chimps, both possess canines, premolars, and molars.

Other notable similarities between us and the primates, specifically the

chimps is the use of an opposable digit, a thumb. The thumb allows for grasping

tools and food. This proves to be a vital asset when chimps go out hunting for

prey. Chimps also resemble humans socially and in their actions. After Jane

Goodall showed the world what chimps were like, we saw that they act like us.

The chimps stay together in packs ranging from two to fifty. The men guard and

protect the pack from rival packs. In their hunting technique they were seen

pushing the prey into a trap, something very smart on their part. All this

sounds very much human-like, but then they also were seen making tools. Chimps

used basic tools and twigs to catch ants and eat them. They used a rock to

smash nuts. How this is learned is a mystery, many think it is passed down

through lineage. Chimps do lack forethought, which is thinking ahead and doing

something. The chimpanzee and human differences and similarities is very eye-

opening, especially to someone who is seeing most of this information for the

first time. Although I believe that their is a lot to prove I do think our

direct ancestors were the primates and there should be a lot of research to

prove even more similarities.


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