Chimpanzees are our closest living genomic relatives, but they lack the bipedal locomotion, markedly enlarged brains, and advanced communication skills of humans. This has led many to view them as “primitive” and to presume that their behavior and anatomy are also primitive. If true, they could serve as models of our last common ancestor (LCA), i.e., a territorially aggressive knuckle walker, reliant on vertical climbing and below-branch suspension to access the high canopy as a ripe-fruit frugivore. now provides abundant information that the LCA differed substantially from chimpanzees (as well as bonobos and gorillas), both anatomically and behaviorally, and exhibited many characters that are more similar to those of modern humans than to any living ape. This major extension of the hominoid fossil record contravenes strict referential modeling based on the extant chimpanzee and greatly improves our ability to reconstruct the LCA more accurately, but only when viewed within the broader context of evolutionary ecology.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error