CyberDodo and the Monkeys (1-13)
Genetic studies indicate that homo sapiens (humans) and chimpanzees share 95% identical DNA – the remaining 5% is not a lot, but yet it is, since it is the source of major differences between the species.
The adult human brain has a size of approximately 1400 cubic centimeters, whereas the chimp’s brain measures « only» 380 cubic centimeters.
The most significant difference between us, however, is to be found in our different bone structures.
Man’s skeletal system allows us to be bipedal (movement by means of the two rear limbs), whereas chimpanzees’ skeletons allow them to adopt a bipedal posture only temporarily, and not exclusively.
Even though man is the only creature that posesses a very elaborate language and the ability to record it (write), certain monkeys manifest the ability to learn, to use symbols, and can even distinguish between « signifer » and « signified ».
In other words, they are capable of using a sign to represent something without confusing it with the actual object to which it refers.
To see the animated cartoon about monkeys, click here
To see the quiz, click here
For the game, here
© CyberDodo Productions Ltd.
Monkey or ape ? A monkey, the scientific name of which is simius is a member of the primate order. There are over 260 known species of monkeys.
A monkey is thus a primate and can be distinguished from the (great) apes, or the anthropoids, which resemble human beings and include the gorilla (see episode 48 about them), chimpanzee, orangutan, gibbon and bonobo.
Monkeys, unlike the great apes, have a tail, are smaller and weigh less. They also have shorter arms and a lesser-developed brain, which limits their cognitive capacity (Cognition refers to knowledge of an exterior and interior world).
The first primates appeared in Africa, around 58 million years ago and then, due to climatic changes, migrated to Europe and Asia. In the beginning, all primates were considered homonoids (order including all great apes and the ancesters of humans), but as evolution progressed, distinct groupings emerged.)
As such, we are dealing with species that share a common genetic background, but that present distinct differences. Around 25 million years ago, the gibbons appeared, followed by orangutans around 15 million years ago and then the great apes, approximately 8 to 9 million years ago.
Man is the last in line, but there are a number of controveries with respect to the date of man’s divergence from the great apes.