Friday, May 12, 2006


The family of Hominidae consists of the gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutanas and human and all of them are known as the great ape. It is said the true membership of the Hominidae are not clear. Chimpanzees, human and gorillas species are closely related to each other but their DNA are different. Chimpanzees and hunan are closely related to each other and they share 99.4 percent of their DNA." (2).

Orangatans are the species of great apes with long and strong arms which are about 2.2 metres. Their legs are short and week. The word orangutanas means man of the forest meaning that they are found or living in the forest environment. They spend their time in "the trees making new nests" (4,5). The weight of the males orangutanas were differ compared to the females. Males weight ranging "between 50 and 90 kilograms and females weight ranging between 30 and 50 kilograms" (3). The height of the males is 1.4 metres tall and the females are smaller than the females. They have "reddish and brown hairs and high sloping fore head" (3, 5). They are existing species belonging to the genus Pongo and subfamily Pongonae. Orangutanas are very "clever species, passive and violence toward other orangutanas is very common and this means that they are friendless animals and they can be violently protective" (5).

Gorillas are the chief of the chimpanzee or an ape and their genus name is gorilla. Gorillas are herbivores animals meaning that they feed themselves on plants and fruits from the trees and shoots. These species are found in the forest of central Africa. They share 92 to 98 % of their DNA with the human and this means that they are closely related to a human. Gorillas have a strong body, arms and their legs are short. They have a strong chest and broad hand. They are " knuckle walking”(1,5), and they have a long hair which protect them from the living cold at high slope.

The body of the gorillas is covered by brown hairs. They have a big head with forehead, thin ears and small eyes which are dark brown in colour. They have facial features like “wrinkle around the nose" (5). Gorillas use arms and feet to walk. The height of "male adult ranges between 1.65 m and 1.75 m tall" (1,5). Their weight ranges between 140 and 165 kg. Females are about half of weight of males. All gorillas share the blood type B. Scietists believe that gorillas are active in the mornig like a human, It is because they wake up early in the morning and go around in search for their food so that they can feed themseves and their babies. They also take a good care for their children like the human being.

The chimpanzees have a long arms and short legs. Their body is covered by black hairs. They have a "slight brow ridge, large ears and small nostrils" (5). The genus name of chimpanzees is Pan. Chimpanzees are divided in to groups such as common chimpanzees and pygm chimpanzee. These species are omnivores meaning that they feed themselves on animals, plants and fruits. They found in forest and they are walking with two feet.

Human beings are bipedal meaning that they walk with two feet. They belong to the Homo sapiens which mean wise man. Human being develop "the brain which allow them to bring ideas and solving problems, language and introspection" (3,5). All this indicates that they "developed a high nervours system and they have a strong senses" (4). They are also omnivores meaning that they eat meat and plants. Human, gorillas and chimpanzees are" closely related" (3,4) to each other.

In coclution, Hominidae are closely related to each other. All Hominidae family have large brain and their weight ranging from between 48 and 120 kilograms. Their arms are strong and well developed and also have a strong bodies. They are all walking with two feet.


1. Csomos, R. 2001. "Gorilla gorilla" [Internet], Animal Diversity Web. Accessed May 2. [cited 25 May 2006, 11:10]. Available from:

2. Hecht, J. 2003. Chips are human, genes study implies. [Internet]. Accessed 19 May 2003, 22:00 [cited 25 May 2006, 09:30]. Available from:

3. Millhouse, C. 2003. "Gorilla gorilla gorilla" [Internet]. Animal Diversity Web. Accessed May 19, 2006 [cited 2006 May 24, 09:58]. available from:

4. Myers, P. 2001. "Hominidae" [Internet], Animal Diversity Web. Accessed May 19, 2006. [Cited 2006 May 19, 12:11]. Available from:

5. Wikipedia contributors. Great Apes [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2006 May 10, 02:58 UTC [cited 2006 May 12, 15: 45]. Available from:

Lizzy Maluleke
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