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Chimpanzee


Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant hominid species of apes in the genus Pan. The Congo River forms the boundary between the native habitats of the two species .

 

Chimpanzees are members of the Hominidae family, along with gorillas, humans, and orangutans. Chimpanzees split from the human branch of the family about four to six million years ago. The two chimpanzee species are the closest living relatives to humans, all being members of the Hominini tribe (along with extinct species of Hominina subtribe). Chimpanzees are the only known members of the Panina subtribe. The two Pan species split only about one million years ago.


The genus Pan is considered to be part of the subfamily Homininae to which humans also belong. These two species are the closest living evolutionary relatives to humans, sharing a common ancestor with humans about four to six million years ago.


Research by Mary-Claire King in 1973 found 99% identical DNA between human beings and chimpanzees, although research since has modified that finding to about 94% commonality, with some of the difference occurring in noncoding DNA. It has been proposed, for instance by J. Diamond in his book where he refers to man as The Third Chimpanzee, that P. troglodytes and P. paniscus belong with H. sapiens in the genus Homo, rather than in Pan.


One of the arguments for this is other species have been reclassified to belong to the same genus on the basis of less genetic similarity than that between humans and chimpanzees.


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