Chimpanzee Versus Humans: Similarities & Differences

Topics: Chimpanzee, Hominidae, Human Pages: 2 (531 words) Published: October 8, 1999
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...
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