The Great Apes: Perhaps Smarter Than Our Ancestors

The Great Apes: Perhaps Smarter Than Our Ancestors.

The Great Apes: Perhaps Smarter Than Our Ancestors

Size does matter, but maybe not that much. At least when it comes to the brain and intelligence. According to a new study from the University of Adelaide and Evolutionary Studies Institute of the University of the Witwatersrand, the great apes of today (such as gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos) could be the most intelligent of the than they were the australopithecines, our ancestors 3 million years ago.

It is generally believed that intelligence (yes, we could argue at length about the meaning of this term as applied to other species, but in this case, we mean it as the ability to make connections) is directly related to brain size: the bigger a brain, in fact, the more neurons it has.

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According to some calculations, the blood flow to the brain in today's gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans would be twice as high as that of the australopithecines of 3 million years ago.

Although the brains of our ancestors were equal in size or larger than that of modern great apes, therefore, it is likely that Lucy would not have held up against non-human primates such as Koko, the gorilla who had learned to communicate with more than a thousand signs.

The Great Apes: Perhaps Smarter Than Our Ancestors

The Great Monkeys are the beings most similar to us, all in danger of extinction. It is the duty of all of us to protect them, to prevent their disappearance. We cannot afford to lose so much wealth of life due to our unconscious way of life.

Paleontologists, who study the history of life on Earth, believe that the first forms of life on our planet appeared about 3.5 billion years ago, one billion years after the birth of the earth.

The first multicellular animals appeared about 750 million years ago and after another two hundred, we had vertebrates. Afterward, as Charles Darwin taught us, living beings evolved until the first mammals appeared, about 250 million years ago. Monkeys, classified in taxonomy in the Order of Primates, to which Man also belongs, appeared in their primitive form 65-50 million years ago. Man embarked on his evolutionary path 6-7 million years ago.

The most evolved among the Primates are the anthropomorphic apes which include the gibbon, also defined as minor anthropomorphic, and the Great Apes, that is, orangutan, gorilla, bonobo, chimpanzee, and man.

The Great Apes: Perhaps Smarter Than Our Ancestors

The apes differ from other apes in many ways. They have no tails, tend to assume an upright position, have a more massive build, rely on sight rather than smell, and have larger brains in proportion to the body. Their nervous system is very articulated, which is why the gestation period is longer than other monkeys. They have remarkable intellectual abilities and a high degree of socialization.

The Great Monkeys, in English "Apes", belong like a man to the Hominidae family. The Orangutan lives in Asia. The Chimpanzee, Bonobo, and Gorilla live in Africa. The man now inhabits almost every corner of the planet and represents the most serious threat to the survival of the other Hominidae due to the scarce attention we have paid, up to now to the protection of nature and other living beings. Chimpanzees and bonobos belong to the same genus (Pan) and are very similar. The chimpanzee we usually know is known as the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) while the bonobo (Pan paniscus) is also called pygmy, puny, black, or dwarf. However, the two have the same build.

Great apes play a vital role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystems in which they live. By feeding on fruit, for example, they disperse the seeds of many varieties of trees in the forest.

Chimpanzees display intellectual abilities that were thought to be unique to humans: they can build rudimentary tools; like us, they experience emotions such as joy, pain, fear, and anguish; they can be infected with all human diseases, except cholera, and in the same way, we humans can get their diseases. Our DNAs differ by just over 1% and the blood groups are compatible.

The Great Apes: Perhaps Smarter Than Our Ancestors

Unlike humans, they cannot swim and cry.

The life expectancy of a chimpanzee in its natural environment is around 40-45 years.

Distribution and habitat: The common chimpanzee lives in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular in the central part of Africa, from Senegal to the Congo and Tanzania. In these regions, chimpanzees have adapted to a wide variety of environments, both above sea level and at an altitude of 2800 m, from dry wooded savannah to grasslands, primary and secondary lowland, or mountain rainforests.

There are four subspecies of the common chimpanzee.

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