Human Evolution

Picture - Illustrating Facial Similarity Between Humans & Orang-outangs

James Neill
Last updated:
01 Sep 2003

Male Orang-outang
Called "The Man of the Forest" by the Borneo Natives

Did you know that Human DNA is approx. 95% similar to Chimpanzees?  Learn more...

"We admit that we are like apes, but we seldom realise that we are apes. Our common ancestor with the chimpanzees and gorillas is much more recent than their common ancestor with the Asian apes--the gibbons and orangutans. There is no natural category that includes chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans but excludes humans."
- Richard Dawkins, Gaps in the Mind

"Molecular evidence suggests that our common ancestor with chimpanzees lived, in Africa, between five and seven million years ago, say half a million generations ago. This is not long by evolutionary standards. ... in your left hand you hold the right hand of your mother. In turn she holds the hand of her mother, your grandmother. Your grandmother holds her mother's hand, and so on. ... How far do we have to go until we reach our common ancestor with the chimpanzees? It is a surprisingly short way. Allowing one yard per person, we arrive at the ancestor we share with chimpanzees in under 300 miles."
- Richard Dawkins, Gaps in the Mind


Eimerl, S., & DeVore, I. (1969). The primates (p. 81). Time-Life International.