Ape Genius
Our Family Tree
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Our Family Tree

Though we may be the cleverest and most accomplished of the bunch, we humans have a lot in common with the four other great apes—the chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, and orangutan. Compared to the lesser primates, such as monkeys and lemurs, we five "hominid" primates are tailless, larger-bodied, and more intelligent; we even share over 98 percent of our DNA. Yet we five great apes do differ significantly in diet, temperament, and social behavior. In this family tree, have a look in broad strokes at what sets us and the four other hominids apart from one another.*—Rima Chaddha


*One of the most glaring differences, regrettably, is numbers. While the human population is now over 6.5 billion, all other great apes total only about 450,000 worldwide and may go extinct in the wild within the next 50 years. To find out how you can help save the wild apes, see our Resources page.

This feature originally appeared on NOVA's The Last Great Ape Web site.

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© | Created January 2008