Growing up I never believed in the whole “we descended from apes theory” but this week I’ve learned a lot about the apes and monkeys and realize we do share a lot of the same characteristics. About ninety eight percent of human genes are identical to chimpanzees. Though we didn’t evolve from them, it is said that we share a common ancestor with them and thats, maybe, why we have so many of the same characteristics. Even though we share a lot with chimps and apes, we also differ from them. For example, humans are a lot more complex than apes. We’re definitely smarter with better communication skills. However, when absorbing humans with other non human primates, physically there are a lot of similarities. We both have prehensile digits. This trait help non human primates move through the trees, and it helps us grab things like our food. We both have stereoscopic vision, which allows both of us to see at night.
Watching and reading about the chimpanzees motherhood was one of the most interesting segments of this weeks learning. The way the mother chimpanzee cares for her children is extremely similar to humans. I was both shocked and disgusting when I learned about infanticide. Infanticide is the killing of a offspring. Male chimpanzees would commit these murders so that it shortens inter birth intervals by inducing cycling in females that lose infants, and it increases the male chances of siring offspring. In the beginning of the film”The New Chimpanzee” and showed a mother chimpanzee grieving so heavily over her dead child that she carried his dead body around for days before saying goodbye and leaving his body. This shows the complexity of emotions that chimps possess. They’re able to feel and recognize different emotions, like grieving, exactly how humans are.
Chimpanzee’s social life is a lot like ours as well. With political struggles for power gain and out right wars. The affection thy show for one another is similar to humans. Also, there gestures and expressions. Chimps develop not only different tools, but while cultures in which they pass on to their young, a lot like humans.
There are so many different ways that non human primates are just like humans and I think thats the main reason scientist tends to study them and their behavior. Studying them has given us some insight on human behavior as well and maybe it helps us better understand why we (humans) sometimes behave the way we do.