The Third Chimpanzee: the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. What does the author suggest about humans and chimpanzees?

In Chapter 1, the species Homo sapiens (humans) is compared and contrasted to Pan troglodytes (chimpanzees). The author rapidly presents several broad areas of research, which suggest that chimps are the closest living relative to humans. Both are mammals and share numerous physiologically similar traits. Recently, molecular data obtained from DNA hybridization suggests that humans, chimpanzees, and gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) are all very closely genetically related.

2. What does the author say about chimps and humans, regarding their DNA?

The chimp species (Pan troglodytes) shares 99.3 percent of its DNA in common with the pygmy chimp species (Pan paniscus). Both chimp species share 98.4 percent of their DNA in common with humans. Both chimps and humans share 97.7 percent of their DNA in common with the gorilla species. Worded another way, chimps vary from pygmy chimps by a mere .7 percent of their DNA; all chimps vary from humans by merely 1.6 percent of their DNA; and chimps and humans vary from gorillas by merely 2.3 percent of their DNA.

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