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.

Category: Science