WHAT IS THE COMMON ANCESTOR THAT HUMAN SHARE WITH THE GREAT APES?
Humans and the great apes evolved from the same ancestor. Even though they evolved from the same ancestor, this does not mean that humans and the great apes share the common ancestor. The issue of which common ancestor humans share with the great apes remains controversial between the Paleoanthropologists and the Biologists. Some studies in primate morphology appear to support Chimpanzees-Gorilla, human-Orangutan, or human-Gorilla clades, but the similarities could be due to convergences, or they could be a result of accelerated rates of the morphological evolution in the human lineage. But it is said that Chimpazees have the closest relationship with humans, followed by the Gorillas, Orangutans, and Gibbons. According to Silverstein (1999) the distance between humans and Chimpazees is 1.64 percent; the distance between humans and Gorillas is 2.27 percent; the distance between humans and Orangutans is 3.6 percent; the distance between humans and Gibbons is 4.76 percent. Although most of the scientists believe that humans are more closely related to the modern apes than to monkeys, but the resent study indicated that humans did not evolve from apes. It has long been known that humans share a common ancestor with apes but it was only in the last thirty years that techniques were developed to provide strong evidence in support of the hypotheses that within the ape lineage, humans are more closely related to Chimpazees are to gorillas (Silverstein, 1999).
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