A cladogram tree showing Anthropoidea, Catarrhini, Haplorrhini, Hominoidea, Primates, and Strepsirrhini.
Anthropoidea, Catarrhini, Haplorrhini, Hominoidea, Primata, and Strepsirrhini,. k
In the scientific classification, humans and apes; chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans are grouped in the same family “hominidae” while monkeys were earlier grouped in the family “Cebidae” but now in the family “Atelidae”. In accordance to scientific researches, human are said to be more closely related to chimpanzees than monkey; looking at their anatomy and genetics. Human evolution shows the evolutionary process that brought about the differences in appearance of the modern man and other hominids. Using genetics and anatomy, we can tell which of the two; monkeys and apes, are closely related to humans.
Anatomy is the study of the body plan of animals. It is a discipline that studies both microscopic and macroscopic body plan. Macroscopic anatomy studies structures that can be seen with the naked eyes while microscopic anatomy studies tissues and cells. Humans and apes have similar diseases, internal organ arrangements, are tailless and have same bones though they differ in shape and size. The males are larger than females, have the thumb and both are omnivorous. However they have some differences due to their habitual bipedalism.
Genetics is the study of character inheritance from parent to offspring. Genetically, human have 46 chromosomes while the apes have 48 chromosomes. Research also shows that 96% of human and apes DNA are the same. The little differences are on hearing, smell, speech and brain capacity. This genetic similarities are absent in monkeys therefore making apes closely related to humans.
Believed to have lived 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago, Australopithecus afarensis was closely related to the genus Homo. Their physical characteristics are closely related to human. Their cranial dental features; small canines and molars though relatively larger than that of humans and brain capacity are relatively small than that of human; (~380–430 cm3) and that of man is said to be between 1350 and 1500cm3. However, chimpanzees are in the same genus as human and therefore are more closely related than the Australopithecus afarensis according to the law of classification.
Like humans Australopithecus afarensis are believed to be bipedal although some claim them to have been partly arboreal. Their anatomy however show that they were not adapted for climbing trees. On the other hand, the chimpanzees are both more related to man in their genetic and anatomic composition and are both in the same genus Homo.
Information on how long ago various ancestors lived can be found on paleoanthropology records where age of fossils has been recorded in estimates. Archaeological records also are an important source of such information and so is human evolution. This information is also found from fossil records and uses the following methods for age estimation:
• Radiometric dating
• Molecular clock
• Carbon 14 dating
Genetic data and DNA similarities can be used to tell how the evolution took place to give rise to different spices from the same origin.
Using genetic studies it is believed that primates diverged from other mammals 85 million years ago. The genus Homo lived around 4 to 6 million years ago. Anatomically the present day human evolved 200,000 years ago. The ancestor of human and chimpanzees are related but separated around 6 million years ago.
The new world monkey’s clade Platyrrhini, means "flat nosed", this is the most distinguishing feature between the new and the old world monkeys. The human skull however has small molars and canines; the eye socket is relatively small as is the ears and the nose. The primate skull has a large, domed cranium which protects the large brain and it’s the distinguishing character. The endocranial volume (the volume within the skull) is three times greater in humans than in the greatest non-human primate, which reflects a larger brain size.
Through the years there have been great evolution differences between the monkeys and humans. Most notably is the physical appearance of the skull and the brain. While the human skull has evolved into a small proportionate skull with small canines and molars and non-protruding jaws, the other primates have larger jaws and teeth. Human skin have less hair compared to the chimps, human face is large than the cranium, the skull is supported unlike the apes that hung forward. The human brain capacity is high than the others. Human brain capacity is said to be 1350ml on average while that of the other primates is believed to be 350ml on average. Human evolution has led to them being fully bipedal unlike the others.
It is wrong to say we evolved from monkeys because we have the same origin but in the course of evolution, human developed more than the monkeys. Human became more developed in terms of physical appearances and brain capacity while monkeys and other primates did not.
Yes. Some characters like the apes where very useful in establishing the evolution path taken by human in comparison with other primates. This helps to understand the level of mental and physical development that human have undergone since the divergence with the apes.
Yes. All characters can and should be used since the all have a major contribution in classification by comparing their similarities and differences and therefore we are able to distinguish under which classification group a certain character falls. It is through the shared features that we are able to group human and apes in the same genus Homo.
Some character are more informative than others in that, characters that are closely related or which divergence age is at the genus stage have a lot in common and therefore help in knowing the development path. Looking closely at these characters, their similar features helps us understand how others were in the earlier stages of evolution.