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Are gorillas our (Humans) Ancestors?
Question Date: 2014-01-24
Answer 1:

No, there are no living species that are our ancestors, but we do share a common ancestor.

Gorillas are actually not our closest living relatives, chimpanzees are actually closer relatives, but they are not our ancestors either.

This site click hear to see shows a nice family tree (we call these cladograms) of some of the primates. What it doesn’t show is the ancestors we have in common. That is because they went extinct millions of years ago.

You are probably asking this because we look a lot like gorillas in a lot of ways. We have hands instead of paws, hooves or fins. We have noses instead of snouts. We don’t have fur-covered faces. Our ears have a similar shape. We share a lot of the same features with gorillas and chimps, but we did not get them directly from any living species. We got them from the same ancestors.

What are some other ways we are like, or different from, our primate “cousins?”

If these kinds of questions interest you, you may want to study evolutionary biology or primatology.

Thanks for asking,

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