Paleoanthropology

Are apes closer to monkeys or humans?
Answered by HowStuffWorks
  • HowStuffWorks

    HowStuffWorks

  1. Although monkeys are primates with higher intelligence, they separated from the evolutionary tree way before apes and hominids. Monkeys are the only anthropoids with tails, however their bone structure, which is similar to other four-legged creatures, doesn't allow them to swing from tree to tree. Apes, on the other hand, are much closer to humans. They exhibit similar body structure and behavior, and have a higher level of cognitive ability. Apes - such as gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and gibbons - can organize themselves into social groups, attempt communication through primitive language and use simple tools. The only feature that distinguished hominids from apes was locomotion. As early humans, hominids evolved into bipedalism, walking upright, and their hands were freed up, allowing them to carry tools and food. Eventually, humans' advanced mobility, along with their highly developed reasoning capabilities, produced civilization as we know it today.

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