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What this common ancestor looked like is not known. Until recently it was widely believed that it looked much like a chimpanzee, with features such as a short back, arms and hands adapted for grasping and swinging in branches, and wrists and forelimbs that enabled knuckle-walking.

This view was based on the beliefs that our ancestors probably passed through a proto-ape stage and that African apes are less specialised than humans so have changed less since diverging from this ancestor.

10 Ways Chimps and Humans are the Same

However, this lacked supportive fossil evidence as there are almost no fossils of early chimps or gorillas and very few of early hominins. Recent studies on the skeleton of the 4. This species dates to a critical time in hominin evolution as it is nearing the time when scientists believe hominins diverged from the ape branch of the family tree.

The fact that A.

Sharing a common ancestor

It is highly likely that A. Millions of years of evolutionary change and natural selection meant that later hominin species were less apelike in appearance and behaviour than their early ancestors. The ancestral line that led to modern chimpanzees also changed, possibly with changes that were as dramatic as our own. Our own species Homo sapiens is the result of four major evolutionary changes.

We also show similar behaviours, and like us chimps laugh when playing, hug to show affection and are able to walk upright.

Play Your Part

Within their communities, chimps sleep, travel and feed in smaller sub-groups of up to ten. These sub-groups can be very flexible, with members changing quickly and regularly. Yucky, eh?

Well, it might sound a bit gross to us, but grooming is an super important activity for these cool critters — it not only keeps them clean, but helps them build friendships and strengthen bonds with each other, too. Fruit is at the top of their menu, but they also tuck into leaves, flowers, seeds, bird eggs, insects and even other animals, too, such as monkeys and wild pigs.

Some groups of chimps eat up to different kinds of food , in fact. Chimpanzees have been known to crack open nuts with rocks, fish out insects from nests and logs using sticks, and shelter from the rain by holding up leaves like umbrellas. Impressive stuff!

Accessibility Links

Sadly, since the early 19th century populations have declined because of habitat loss, hunting and capture for use in zoos, circuses and medical research. While you wait for it to be checked and approved why not to add a pre-selected message and a cool badge. Chimps are truly fascinating animals, especially the fact that they are I hope sooner in the coming generation chimps are taken of the endangered list, as losing such animal would be devastating.

Now I think gorillas are my favourite animal because I learnt more about them! Ask a parent or guardian to check it out first and remember to stay safe online. See all. Chimp with baby on grass: Kristof Degreef, Dreamstime.

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Chimpanzee in front of baby: Smellme, Dreamstime.