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Great Ape Size Chart by Harry-the-Fox Great Ape Size Chart by Harry-the-Fox
Finally here!

A size comparison chart for the Great Apes!
(and yes that includes us).

Basically, a bit of a response to the outlandishly disproportionate ape sizes in many movies (not mentioning any names) showing gargantuan-sized CGI/prop gorillas, or the lesser evil, implying some very small chimpanzee proportions with trained juvenile chimpanzees (being easier to work with and less dangerous).
(don't get me started on the false depictions of their aggression or intelligence- I could go on all day)

A bit of extra info (and any discrepancies):

Overall, great apes are incredibly strong for their size (humans being the least so)- for non-human great apes, the minimum being pound-for-pound twice as strong as a human of matching weight in chimpanzees and bonobos, and further in Orangutans and Gorillas. This is both due to some genetic differences that enhance muscular strength (humans however enjoy the reverse- more endurance to be constantly active)- and of course the simple fact that most of any great ape's muscles are simply larger, and so are many of their bones (especially their joints)- especially on the upper body area. In other words, they're simply 'bigger' than us where it counts.

None of these sizes depicted would necessarily be the limit any of the apes would grow to (considerably larger specimens show up now and again- but then again, so do giant humans!)- but is closer to the typical size.

Aggression-wise, most apes are very placid. Strangely, the most aggressive apes are our immediate 'tribe'- humans and chimpanzees (though this varies immensely between communities, as obviously, many of both are very placid also). Also note that many photos of apes flashing their teeth could well be images of them yawning, sneezing etc.

Individual groups.

Humans- we are ourselves great apes- in fact, we actually share a specific ape niche (tribe) with Chimps and Bonobos that no other great ape shares. Compared to this, gorillas are a completely separate (tribe) group, and orangutans are a complely different sub-family! Each of these apes are more closely related to each other than gorillas.

Gorillas- actually a lot shorter than people think; standing upright, most silverback gorillas' eye-height would barely reach a human's chin. Their great size however is in their wider, thicker body, head and arms- easily weighing well over twice that of a heavy man. Their 'hump' is mostly muscle- common in animals with powerful jaws needed for hard chewing (they mostly eat tough plant matter).

Orangutans- our most distant relative among the great apes and the only great ape that indigenous to Asia rather than Africa; Those baggy throats you may see in some are to allow them to call over great distances (handy for a solitary animal). Note the shaggy coat is misleading- Orangutans' limbs are actually quite slender for its size (though still much thicker than human limbs, and possibly slightly thicker than very large chimpanzee).

Chimpanzees; Chimpanzees have a wide range of sizes; typically they can reach almost 3 feet- but can grow to man-sized at about 4 feet, and sometimes larger at about 5. Note the deceptively shaggy coat hides chimpanzee limbs are a fairly consistent thickness from body to hand- and slightly thicker than those of a human's arm overall. This size is generally the larger typical sizes of most of the larger groups.

Bonobos: allegedly not a chimpanzee, but share the same genus (Pan). Sometimes called pigmy chimpanzees, their size does overlap many typical (albiet smaller) chimpanzee species. Typically the largest sizes associated with Bonobos is 3 feet in height- and though I have seen some photos of some very large, stocky bonobos near people, I decided to simply depict the typical specified measurement. Bonobos are strangely very non-aggressive Pan apes- using sex to solve disputes rather than violence.

Bili Apes (chimpanzees): Little information is known so far, except the following- that they are in fact chimpanzees; gene tests indicate they belong to an existing species of chimpanzee with very little genetic difference- however they bear some slight anatomical differences with regular chimpanzees. Size- mostly the same as larger chimpanzees; but some evidence suggests slightly larger- along with one 30cm footprint and some skulls found to be larger than those of chimpanzee skulls.
Note that at these proportions, it is still significantly smaller than a gorilla due to a more gracile build- also, a gorilla's footprints are much shorter- but this is merely because their feet are short and broad, while chimpanzee feet are very slender and long relative to body size. At the moment it cannot be certain how large they actually grow. For the sake of scale regarding the possibility that this ape grew to larger sizes, it has been depicted at 5 feet tall- which isn't too unusual among larger chimpanzee populations.

Well, for design of this chart- all these apes have been recreated from numerous photographs of live apes, skeletons, anatomy charts available, and checked in proportion using a custom ruler tool I programmed into photoshop (easy to do). I may need to tweak a few minor details, but these should be roughly proportionate (as well as compared to inter-body proportions, as well as proportions compared to a human- particularly skull size).

Hope you like it!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconjet948:
Jet948 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Apes are one of the most interesting animals . I have seen that apes are very smart eg. I saw chimps who found a mirror and they guessed what is it they see in it , while other animals thought this is an intruder . Chimps also had in one of the experiment learned to use money and what to do with them to that point they started to buy sex for it . I also know that apes can be trained to do various things . I remember from cartoons that apes could do various things like in circus or chimp shooting a gun and scaring intelligent otherwise black men who gave it to it  , or I  remember that book of Julius Verne that our heroes had an orangutan who helped them to keep their home and he was very good at it .
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Apes (aside from humans, who can also obviously do these things) demonstrate:
1- tool use (chimps using plant stems to 'catch' termites)
2- Gorillas reconfiguring their environment to help them do stuff (one picked up some rocks to build a "ladder" to reach fruit that was otherwise too high to grasp).
3- Gorillas using sticks to disarm snares
4- Gorillas and apes identifying rifles and taking evasive maneuvers to run away.
5- A mother orangutan approaching a boat, placing her baby in it, jumping inside and paddling away with her hands
6- All known ape species can learn to use a keyboard to "tell" people what they want (usually demands candy).
7- A rumour that Bonobos can crack rocks into knives or spikes when they have nothing else to do (note that many primates know about hard-shelled food sources they need to crack open- it could be that).
8- An interesting video on Youtube of wild Mountain Gorillas descending on a tourist park as a family just to look at some tourists before leaving (my guess, their idea of a 'tourist trip' to look at tamed humans in (what they presume to be) their "natural habitat".)
9- I'm pretty certain mountain gorillas will try to pick up large sticks to swat away leopards if they catch them prowling around... and it seems to deter them successfully.
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:iconjet948:
Jet948 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi . Sorry for late reply . You know one of the funniest facts is that apes can be even smarter than humans in some matter . Check this out ;)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhxqII…
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
HAha! I remember that footage! Not quite sure it's actually real footage though ;)

That said, in all honesty, humans often underestimate (other) apes' intelligence in figuring out how things work. And that's ignoring the fact that all great apes KNOW rudimentary tool use.

That aside, apparently depth perception and hand-eye coordination is better in other apes than with us in some regards (vastly more so for "lesser" apes, and monkeys, as they really need to make snap calculations while moving in the treetops; the bigger apes obviously hardly bother with this as their/our survival doesn't really depend on moving between trees quickly).
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:iconcool1708:
cool1708 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
basically how i see the great ape line Humans have Sacrificed power and bulk for speed and endurance as to behonest they are the fastest out of the great apes as humans where built to be marathon runners while the other great apes have either a mix of speed and power like the big Gorillias while slower than humans they are the strongest out of the great apes while i would put banobos and chimps are a healthy mix between human speed and gorillias power orangutans i would say not as strong as the gorillia but most likely faster 
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Pretty much, and the funny thing is, it shows in the anatomy.

Pound-for-pound:
-humans have vastly more elongated lower bodies and legs compared to other great apes
-humans have vastly shorter and smaller upper-bodies and arms than other great apes
-humans have much larger, rounder lungs.... however, this is replacing space that WOULD have gone to larger shoulder/pectoral muscles instead.

The strange part is, aside from some difference in bone density, the variable differences in strength between humans and another ape seems proportional to these, well, proportions, meaning it appears other great apes may have evolved by growing larger, we evolved by growing taller.
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:iconhawk485:
hawk485 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2016
most confident white man ever :D
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:iconoaglor:
Oaglor Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Any plans for a scale like this for just the genus of Homo?
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
As a matter of fact, yes!
As I am particularly interested in the neanderthals as well as Homo Floresiensis (the "Hobbits"). I'm also interested in branching out to a few other prehistoric humans, though I plan to research up on their anatomy a bit more first.
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:iconsquidlifecrisis:
squidlifecrisis Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2015
excellent guide! I had no idea bonobos were so much smaller than chimps!

and wow I wish I hadn't skimmed the comments... uh... gonna scroll back up where the science is and hang out with you, ok
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers!
I was shocked too- I could have sworn they were bigger myself (though there was one involved in language-learning experiments might have been well above average- plus the experimenter was always sitting down next to him).
But in general, while true Chimpanzees can grow anywhere between three and five feet tall, Bonobos seem to mostly grow only up to three it seems.

And lol; no probs (regarding the comments- I forgot about that guy);
But when genetic testing suggests that humans and chimps have less in common with gorillas than we do each other, it's pretty indicative that we're apes (to make matters even stranger; all of these apes have more in common with each other than any does with the Orangutan).
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:icongrisador:
grisador Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015
Really great and accurate Size chart ! (Which can Piss somebody off)
Great Work !


So...No;  Gigantopicherus ? :D


And You are Right Bonobo's are indeed a different species
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers (and it's what I do, hehehehe!)

Ahem- as a matter of fact I'm actually in the process of drawing one (normally I don't do animals based on almost-nonexistent fossil remains; but hell, apes are fun to draw!)

Yep! To be fair for those that disagree, Pan apes are rather hard to distinguish into species. The sub-species themselves are genetically WAY different (apparently, even separated populations within species can have a wider genetic variance than the whole human race). Then we have those Bili Apes adding to the headache. While they have some (slight) physical differences from other chimps (sagittal crest is more pronounced)- genetically they're plain old chimps of a well-known sub-species (forgot which one)- with no outstanding genetic differences to qualify them as a species any more than any other population within it.
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:icongrisador:
grisador Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2015
(There are actually two species of Gigantopithecus; I referred to the Easter Egg of Biology; The Mighty Bigfoot  Wink/Razz )

Yes; Bonobos are way more different than Normal Simian Apes; by both Behaviore and Genetical Biology. 
İn nature by Behaviore ; Normal Simian Apes are actually VERY Hostile, Disgustingly Cannibalistic/Semi-Cannibalistic (Or Hunting other Ape species) Species meanwhile The Bonobos actually made their Utopia ; living entirelly peacefull and non-hostile even other herbivorus even omnivorus species. (Probably Living style has a HUGE effect on Behaviore)


There are also several Newly identified or Understood species of primates; which it angers me everyone see them as one Simple 'Chimpanzee'  Rage 

There are even different species Of Gorilla ! 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_…

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_…

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorilla

Also there is Silverback Gorilla ! :D

I mean they are Highly diverse; But I think there are Entire Families/Groups hunted and killed by stupid beliefs about : '' Luck '' . (Beliefs about Monkey body parts brings luck and other monkey parts can be eaten)

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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Yup, Blackei and its ironically smaller cousin; Giganteus/Giganticus(?)
(I love palaeo names- so many species have such impressive names, just to be massively outsized by something with a rather casual name).

OMG don't even get me started on Big Foot. >:(
Putting aside whether it even ever existed; It's the go-to for the most nonsensically implausible evolutionary theories:
-Gigantopithecus: Opposite side of the world, with zero trace in the entire American super-continent (Yetis would be more plausible at least- very close alleged 'range')
-The "Missing link between man and ape"; ignoring the genetic fact that humans ARE still very clearly apes, and the fossils showing progressively smaller humans dating further back in time (including to the point they mostly "look like apes", is the idea that at some point, the sole ancestor of humankind decided to emigrate to North America, grow really really gigantic, then some moved back to Africa, shrunk again, and THEN turned into people
-Neandertals; because when I think Bigfoot, I think of short humans. :D

Yep, and it's not hard to see why; even though most knuckle-walkers live around the Congo, the populations are really quite isolated.

And hopefully the stupid 'lucky monkey paw' beliefs will be tempered by the disturbing (and extremely likely) belief that the most extreme zootonic outbreaks come from primate bush-meat!
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:icongrisador:
grisador Featured By Owner Edited Apr 10, 2015
İronically its Very Smaller cousin's name is G. giganteus ('Giant' Ape) Guess the Paleontologists suggested something very Big huh ? :D

I think its good....For ''killing'' time ! >:  D

Well the most 'logical' theory I can ever came up with it ;about the AMERİCAN bigfoot (İF it was REAL); İts a (some sort of) almost extinct species of North America adapted Chimpanzee (Or Another Very Humanoid Simian)

who has a Very Robust/Rough building...  (Considering Native American Tribes have Lots of 'Legends' about it) Stare 


Or they could be Circus Escaped Chimpanzee's (Which is Really stuck in my mind because feeding chimps is legal in USA until 1995 or 1992; but it can't be like that because real bigfoot legends are Very Old)


But Asian Bigfoot versions I really think Survived Neandertals ARE the Possiblity ! (Especially Siberia and Mongolia legens pointing about its behaviore) :D


And İndeed; most people have zero idea what they eat ! :D 

(Its a big scary thought considering real Rabies outbreaks are a lOT like movie Zombie outbreaks)   Bob has Rabies 
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Yup, but you know, it kind of makes the ironically-larger relative even MORE impressive that it has such a casual name whilst dwarfing it's impressively-labelled mini-counterpart!
Especially sinister that the larger relative to Smilodon Fatalis (slightly smaller than a male lion, though potentially more robust) is simply called "Smilodon Populator" (a gigantic monster cat that actually DOES dwart cave lions, Siberian Tigers and other felines alike).

Absolutely, let's do it!

It's plausible that a Big Foot could exist as an ape that migrated to North America a few million years ago (though I think Asia might have been a more convenient land route, increasing the chance the ape in question was a Pongonoid(?).
Human evolutionary offshoot is also plausible (though most of the evidence seems to skew prehistoric humans as rather small, with the largest being, well, vanilla humanoid humans.

Escaped chimpanzees could be another possibility; feral animals can reach GIGANTIC sizes after only a few generations (pigs being the most frightening example). As you said, it doesn't explain the earlier legends (unless the earlier legends are skewing the animals as bigfoots).

Neandertals are actually unlikely based on the most recent evidence; neandertals are actually another VERY recent and modern species humans that likely evolved from a very immediate ancestor as us; which was likely already become more-or-less 'humanish', which seems to have been the case for quite a long time by now.
In the case of the neandertals, there is strong evidence they were no hairier than we are, as they wore clothes and bodypaint. For physiology, the skulls are identical to ours, merely with bigger faces and longer, larger craniums; while the rest of their skeletons were mildly thicker-boned but kinda shorter and squatter. They even have convex nasal sockets like we do (strongly suggesting they had noses like us; while other apes with flat noses have concave nasal sockets that sink into their skulls. The ironic thing is a lot of people theorize that stories of trolls came from Neandertals; if anything, I'd say they inspired stories of Nordic dwarves (they'd look a LOT like the Warcraft ones)!

Lol! I know.
And I reckon the zombie outbreaks were inspired by rabies cases!
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:icongrisador:
grisador Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015
Can't Agree More ! :D

İndeed I think its an evolved Ape species too; because there's very ancient legends and tales about it; it suprass'es the Cirqus animal theory...

But I know Escaped animals become new top predators of their (Poorly Unfortunate) new Habbitat; PigZilla is a VERY Good example but the Australia Bull Toad is THE Best example known so Far....I watch the Documentaries, they are more terryfying than anything !
But its very relieving to know nature will fix (almost) everything ! The Australian animals are already adapted to this new 'apetite' ; so we probably will see gigantic Wolf/coyoto Hordes that hunt Pigzilla in future


Neandertal reconstructions are Extremelly Human like even by our standarts ! I mean if there are suriving Neandertals; they can (Very) Easily Blend to human societhies and cities (Holy Cow I found a NEW conspiracy that outran the Ancient aliens one !)
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Yep- our Cane Toads are nasty little monsters, each toad is significantly bigger than its predecessor (they might even get close to being the largest toad in the world in a century).
And indeed- a lot of animals know which parts are poisonous, or in the case of snakes, know when the poison deactivates (about half an hour after death)- so they bite, wait, and eat.

Ironically in Australia the beneficiaries of feral animals appear to be our goannas (aka lace monitors- basically speedy, miniature komodo dragons with shark teeth that are almost non-toxic).
Practically every species of these lizards from big to small are coincidentally the perfect predators for feral rats and feral rabbits; while feral cats and feral dogs are usually no threat. And this is despite growing solely amongst marsupials for millions of years until 200 years ago.
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(1 Reply)
:iconthe-polybius:
The-Polybius Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015
5 animals, 1 human
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
More specifically, 6 animals, 6 apes, one of which is human.
Genetic code between humans, chimps (including Bili Ape) and Bonobos is almost the same- and has more similarity between each other than either ape has with the gorilla (the next nearest relative).
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Whoops (rushed typo)- the difference between humans and Chimps/bonobos is roughly the same. However, all three have a greatergenetic difference to gorillas than each other- meaning humans, chimpanzees and bonobos are all more closely related to each other than either ape is to a gorilla.
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:iconthe-polybius:
The-Polybius Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015
Humans are not apes and not animals, I don't care the genetic similarities, I know it already but apes are apes and apes are animals and human are humans and humans are not animals
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Out of curiosity what category would humans belong to if not animals? Our bodies are even comprised of standard animal cells and animal organs.
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:iconthe-polybius:
The-Polybius Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015
Not animals, mammals but we are no longer animals like dogs, lizards, bugs, don't give me animal organism and cells, all beings live and breathe but humans are not animals, we rule over animals and being called an animal is an insult. Humans are not animals period
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2015
Excellent chart, well done!
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconamzimme:
amzimme Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
This is awesome - and you are definitely filling in a space that very much needed filling! Very educational, well-researched, and interesting, besides being visually appealing. Thank you for doing this and sharing it! You're right - a lot of misleading pop culture out there giving confusing and inaccurate impressions of the non-human great apes. This chart is handy and convenient and much-needed!
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very much! It is a great pleasure!
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:iconidunnom8:
IDunnoM8 Featured By Owner Edited Jan 23, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Every see I see any visual comparison between Humans and other apes I start to think that juuuust maybe that Tsoukalos guy could be onto something with the whole humans-are-genetically-modified-apes thing. I mean, look at those guys up there.

We look more different to them than a dog does to a wolf, and we invented dogs. Hell, look at any domesticated animal and it looks WAY closer to it's wild predecessor than we do to other apes that have continued to evolve right along with us. Yet, nothing. They're still small-minded apes and we're almost as different as it gets. There is less variation between finches than there is in between humans and other apes.

And, our differences have almost no benefits... What was the benefit in losing muscle mass? Why would that happen?
What was the benefit in losing an opposable toe?
In having a shorter face with weaker jaw and stubbier teeth?

Our legs are built for protracted motion, our brains are built for language, our stance is built for holding things while walking and our mostly hairless bodies stay cooler longer.

I mean, it seems to me these changes run totally contrary to how evolution works, yet we are exactly what I would make if I wanted to turn a chimpanzee into a slave.
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Don't forget that we didn't actually evolve from any of these apes- but all evolved from gradually-common ancestors who might have easily been weaker or less adapted than the modern apes that survived today.
At the end of the day, evolution gears lifeforms to better survive their environments, and if they thrive with the forms they currently have, have little reason to change very much.
:)
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:iconidunnom8:
IDunnoM8 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I couldn't forget such a thing; the notion that we come FROM other apes is a ludicrous belief held by those who don't understand even the rudimentary basics of evolutionary theory.

You argue my point for me.
Our ape ancestors obviously were thriving just fine, as is evidenced by our primate cousins' continued existence and plethora of variance today. So, why did only we change as we did? Why did we have a reason to change SO much? Especially since the things we changed to are almost completely counterproductive for survival, and happened LONG BEFORE we migrated out of Africa (thereby removing the environmental change that might necessitate such drastic changes, such as our "races" which are easily explained by migration and environmental specialization.)

We lost our claws, arm length, opposable toes, foot and hand size, sense of smell, sense of hearing, large teeth, strength, size, and fur, also our sexual characteristics became more INefficient (human males have smaller testicles and lower sperm count, women gained obstructive breasts that are swollen constantly instead of just during pregnancy/nursing, humans require longer gestation, a more difficult birth than other primates due to a larger head but not a larger pelvis to match, our babies nurse longer, take longer to walk and otherwise take longer to become independent of total care).
Meanwhile, we gained only three things: our brain, our legs (and with them, our stalk-our-prey-until-they-die-of-paranoia-and-exhaustion stamina), and our sclera (which helps with co-operation because of following line of sight, a trick that dogs learned, as a species, to understand. If you have a dog, try it. Stare intently at a spot for long enough and he will look too, just like a person would.)
Why in hell would evolution make that kind of a trade? It makes very little sense. Especially since none of these things were apparently advantageous enough for any of our primate cousins to copy, even the big apes, even those who evolved right alongside us.
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
The answer is actually simply because the body only invests resources into parts that are being actively used, abused and stimulated, while shedding less-used parts for being presumably useless. Each body part needs to be fed, and in turn takes food away from the rest of the body. They also make the animal heavier and potentially unwieldy.
Legs on a blue whale, for example are worse than useless because they can impede its hydrodynamic shape- and leave tasty things for sharks to rip off and cause lethal infections. Thus they are nothing more than a vestigial bone or two floating around inside the whale's body.

For humans, we stopped using our noses to track prey because we learned more visual cues to read from instead; including trichromatic colour (something the majority of the animal kingdom lacks)- thus our olfactory bulbs diminished.
We also used our arms more for holding stuff- thus needed to rely entirely on our legs to walk; resulting in the legs getting larger and more powerful, while our arms more or less stayed the same (possibly getting weaker from the lack of exercise they were getting- other apes of course hardly even MOVE without putting their arms to work). ON the flipside, other apes remained bow-legged because they were still more dependent on climbing trees than walking long distances on the ground; so their limbs attempt to function at both, rather than focus primarily on one, as humans have.

Evolution isn't so much a matter of 'better' as much as 'what works for the environment I'm in'. OR alternatively, "better at what"
Stuff like reduction in size also serves benefits- lighter, faster, and more importantly, you need to eat WAY less (and sustain a larger population).
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:iconamzimme:
amzimme Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
It makes sense, though, if you look at when the split happened and the lifestyle changes since then. How do the other apes live? - in trees and jungles, and thus their legs get shorter and their arms gets longer. We moved to the open plains under the sun, where we ran - thus, we need to stay cool and have long legs. We breed dogs to do things that wolves do - be pack animals, hunt and chase things (or herd things, which is a modified version of chasing/hunting), protect (which wolves are already well designed to do, so not much modification needed there) - basically, dogs are still doing what wolves do, so they are similarly designed. The dogs that look most different from wolves (pomeranians, anyone?) are the ones bred to behave and live most differently from wolves - lifestyle determines evolutionary divergence. Therefore, great apes all have similar lifestyles and thus look similar, except for humans, who live dramatically different and therefore, given time and natural selection for the most advantageous traits in a different lifestyle, have evolved to look dissimilar. It makes sense. 

Losing muscle mass--maintaining muscle burns calories, so if your lifestyle doesn't require heavy muscle mass then it is not advantageous for energy efficiency (key to survival) to have it, and having a stout, thick, heavily muscled body works best for animals that a) live in cold environments (less surface area the stouter you are and the shorter your limbs, and surface area = heat loss); b) have lifestyles which require strength rather than endurance. Our lives shifted to arid climates and requiring stamina to chase down our prey - thus, lean muscles and long limbs and losing insulating body hair. 

Losing the opposable toe - served no purpose down out of the trees, and our feet now are better designed for running/walking on the ground. An opposable toe gets in the way of that. 

Weaker jaw and stubbier teeth - evolved when we started cooking our food, since cooked meat (even partially cooked) is much easier to chew. Teeth reflect the diet, and ours are designed for our diets, which shifted over time, and again, cooked food requires less effort for tearing meat and chewing. 

These changes all make sense from an evolutionary standpoint. We changed our lifestyle and habitat, natural selection and time made our genetics adapt to the new lifestyle, which allowed us to shift our lifestyles more, and we adapted to that, and shifted our lifestyles, and adapted, and shifted, and adapted... until we reached where we are now. 
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:iconidunnom8:
IDunnoM8 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
The fossil record and your understanding of the human evolutionary timeline do not match up. It wasn't one split and a straight course, it was many different changes over the course of thousands of years.


True, we moved out of the jungle, but many primates lived in the same plains areas and didn't evolve longer legs or upright posture.

You support my point for me, because the things we have dogs do and be would never happen without intervention.
A Pomeranian would never evolve in the wild for adaptation. It would never evolve that way for any reason, even in the most insane circumstances, if someone hadn't decided to breed a dog down to almost nothing for looks (it certainly wasn't temperament, Poms are assholes).

Plenty of animals live in areas that, according to your theory, they have no business living. Including other primates that lived in the same areas as us.
As far as body hair, humans originally came from Africa, not from cold climates. We started out hairy in the desert, and then moved into the cold areas AFTER we branched off and moved in a different direction from neanderthals and lost our fur (even though we interbred with them), not the other way around.

Literally every other animal that has permanent or short-term bipedal locomotion has an opposable toe of a kind or another. Except us. Birds have splayed toes, bears have a "thumb" toe, as do raccoons, other primates.
Also, I feel the need to remind you that quadrupedal animals, with four opposable toes (or more in some cases) (opossums, alligators, lizards, komodo dragons, squirrels etc) can run and walk just fine.


Humans evolved as omnivorous insectivores, predators to small animals and scavengers, and we did well that way. Though we could (and did) sometimes stalk some animals to death, it would have been a high-output of energy and, it seems more likely to me we would have evolved the legs first and the technique second.

Primate canine length has no tie to diet since primates don't use teeth for hunting. It's our incisors, the mere presence of canines and molars that point to our diet (omnivorous). There are herbivorous primates with large canines, however, so the cooking of food has nothing to do with it. We still eat plenty of plants, technically we should be on a primarily vegetarian diet with less meat than anything else, and a strong jaw is good for plants.

These changes (or at least most of them) don't make sense in the order or times at which they happened, and they don't make sense individually in general. They only make sense as a sum total.
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:icontheintiman:
TheIntiman Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2014  Student General Artist
Great, ill look up your other stuff, but aren't the homos a bit thinner and smaller?I mean, some great apes are HUGE, 
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Gorillas are much wider viewed from the front than the side- so to are Orangutans; so side-view doesn't quite capture how big they got.
But none of these animals grew much taller than what you see there (the Gorilla depicted would reach six feet in height standing upright).
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:iconnapalmhonour:
napalmhonour Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Great illustration in there!..
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconsankajones:
SankaJones Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing work! This would look great in a book of natural history!
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconsankajones:
SankaJones Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! :)
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:iconpogmog:
pogmog Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014
This is one of the greatest things I have seen. I constantly come across it via Google Images, it's about time I commented! That bonobo cracks me up every time, I love it. 
Thank you for making this image!
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I'm honoured! It's always a pleasure!
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:icondawnemperor:
DawnEmperor Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2013
What do you mean by "strangely" in regards to the orangutans? 
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
A typo- I think I was referring to either their more 'unusual' anatomic features compared to other great apes (throats, male faces, or significant dimorphism in general)- than them being the most distant relative- I had better correct it.
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:iconblind-dancer:
blind-dancer Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think most of the size difference between humans and the rest of the great apes is due to our long legs. If you take only the torso + head part, we're about the same size as a chimp. It's just that we're built for running marathons, so slender, longer legs help ;)
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:iconharry-the-fox:
Harry-the-Fox Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
That's exactly right. If anything, the other great apes exceed our torso + arm size very easily. A 4 foot chimp has a slightly larger torso and significantly larger arms than a 6 foot human (unless that human was a massive bodybuilder that is).

It's especially interesting with Gorillas- their trunks are significantly broader for their height- and as a result, they are unambiguously larger than any other great ape of a matching height and even above (and roughly double the weight)!
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:iconkiingpx:
KiingPX Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Very interesting post I must say. Have a big favorite, good sir.
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