Project Paper:Human and Chimpanzee

02/24/2009 16:33

   Humans and chimpanzees are close relatives, and they have common ancestors. Humans and chimpanzees come from the same superfamily, family, subfamily, and tribe. Human and chimpanzee ancestors split 6.3 millions years ago at the earliest, but fossil records show that the earliest hominids continued to mate with each other and swap genes for another 1.2 million years before the final break (Cauchi). Humans and chimpanzees are two intelligent species. However, their behavior is different, and the size of their brains is different. Humans’ brains are larger than chimpanzees’. Humans can talk, walk, make tools, use tools, and so on; however, chimpanzees can not talk or walk but can use tools. Table 1 shows the human and chimpanzee classification.

Table 1:

                                                Human and chimpanzee classification

 

Human

Chimpanzee

Kingdome

animalia

animalia

Phylum

chordata

chordata

Subphylum

vertebrata

vertebrata

Class

mammalia

mammalia

Order

primates

primates

Super family

hominoidea

hominoidea

Family

hominidae

hominidae

Subfamily

homininae

homininae

Tribe

homini

homini

Genus

Homo

Pan

Species

H. sapiens

P. troglodytes

“Chimpanzee.” Wikipedia.2 Dec. 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimpanzee>

“Human.” Wikipedia. 2 Dec. 2007 < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human>

                                                                                                           

            Humans and chimpanzees have remarkable differences in their anatomy. They are from the same ancestors, but they are different in their behavior. Table 2 shows a summary of the differences between humans and chimpanzees.

Table 2:

                            Humans and chimpanzees anatomical differences

 

Human

Chimpanzee

Skull

Held upright on spinal column

Bent forward from spinal column

Skull surface

Smooth

Rugged

Brain volume

1450 cm³

350 cm³

Head

Balanced

Unbalanced

Nasal opining

Narrow

Wide

Hair

Some part of the body

Most of their body

Snout

Short

Long

Shoulder

Low, wide

High, narrow

Arms

Shorter than legs

Longer than legs

Arm, leg adaptation

Legs adapted for striding

Arms adapted for swinging

Thoracic

Narrow

Wide

Waist

Tall, narrow

Short, wide

Sacrum

Short

Long

Iliac bland

Short

Long

Sciatic notch

Wide

Narrow

Forearm

Short

Long

Gluteus maximus

Big

Small

Femoral neck

Short

Long

Hip joint

Big

Small

Ischium

Wide

Narrow

Knee joint

Big

Small

Achilles tendon

Long

Short

Ankle joint

Big

Small

Heel bone

Enlarged

Small

Toes

Short, big toes in line with other toes

Long, big toes are opposable

Foot arch

Stabilized

Partial

Foot

Walking

Grasping

Posture

Upright or bipedal

Bent over or quadrupedal

Pregnancy

9 months

8.5-9 months

Age of puberty

Usually 13 or older

Usually 10 to 13

           

            Humans and chimpanzees are close evolutionary relatives and they have striking similarities in their genetics. Because of this relationship, these genes that work differently in chimpanzees than in humans could be all that is needed to change a default-mode great ape into a human. Out of three billion bases in the DNA coding for humans and chimpanzees, about 35 billion show single-bases differences, and another 5 million DNA sites are different because of additions in or deletions of the genetic code. One million of those coding changes are responsible for human and chimpanzee differences (Boyle). Human and chimpanzee genes are nearly 99.9 % identical. Researcher surprisingly found that 6% to 8% of alternative splicing showed differences. The gene which showed the different splicing is associated with a variety of important processes, including the ability to contract certain disease easily. Splicing is the process by which the coding regions of genes are joined to make genetic messages that specify the making of proteins, the key structural and functional elements of cells. Splicing can occur in other ways in the same genetic message to make more than one type of protein. The new result reveals that the other splicing process differs a lot between humans and chimpanzees (“Human and chimpanzee”). Chimpanzees and humans took the different evolutionary paths. Humans have 23 pairs chromosome but chimpanzees have 24 pairs. Chromosome 1 in humans is the largest chromosome in human DNA, and it is taller than chimpanzee chromosome 1. Some of the chromosomes are shorter, and some are longer in chimpanzees. Than this fact shows that in humans evolution changed the fusion of the chromosomes. For example, the chromosome 2 in chimpanzees is two short chromosomes, which are the same length of human chromosome 2. If one were to join the chimpanzee’s chromosomes 2 end to end, they would become longer than the human chromosome 2. Chromosome 2 in humans is the second largest chromosome in human DNA. It is possible that during the evolution of these two chromosomes (2a and 2b) in chimpanzees, fusion occurred to make the   human’s chromosome. Differences between human and chimpanzee chromosomes show how the disease behavior is not the same in these two species.  

 Conclusion

Humans and chimpanzees are cousins, and their ancestors split approximately 6 millions years ago. They have 99.9% identical genes, and they have very few differences. Humans and chimpanzees have significant differences in their anatomy and their behavior. Researchers are looking for new evidence for more connections between humans and chimpanzees, they are looking for evidence to support that with 99.9 % similarity in their genes these two species did not take the same evolutionary path. Researchers are looking for the diseases which differ between the two species and for their bodies’ reaction to these diseases. They have discovered that these two species have more differences than before.    

 

 

                                                            Works Cited

Boyle, Alan. “Chimp genetic code opens human frontiers.”1 Sep 2005. 2 Dec. 2007

            <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9136200/>

Cauchi, Stephen. “Chimp study shakes human family tree”. 18 May 2006. 2 Dec. 2007

<http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/meet-your-ancestor

/2006/05/17/1147545394809.html>

“Chimpanzee.”  Wikipedia.2 Dec. 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimpanzee>

“Human.” Wikipedia. 2 Dec. 2007 < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human>

“Human and chimps different at level of gene splicing.” Science Daily 15 Nov.2007. 2 Dec. 2007

            <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071114151513.htm>

 

 

 

 

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