News Stories

Chimps R Us

Humans and chimps share about 98% of their DNA, and now scientists have discovered monkeys that can talk to each other?in complete sentences.

Genevi?ve Roberts reports in the Independent that using words to make sentences?and using the same word for the same thing over and over?is what we call "syntax," and putty-nosed monkeys in Africa can do this too. Two of their basic sounds, "Pyows" and "Hacks," are used to warn against two different predators: a Pywow is a leopard and a Hack is an eagle. But when the words are combined, the sentence means "Let's go," which is sort of like the human phrase "Let's roll," which was used by the Flight 93 passengers.

Humans may be a product of interbreeding between early man and chimpanzees, which would be the reason our DNA is so much alike. Bjorn Carey writes in LiveScience.com that our earliest ancestors may have interbred with the ancestors of modern chimpanzees to create a hybrid species. That species eventually became the ancestors of modern man, after a long period of evolution.

Humans and chimps have very similar X chromosomes (an XX is a female and an XY is a male). The X chromsome is considered to be "younger" than the other chromosomes by a little over a million years.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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