Why are there still chimpanzees?
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People often ask me, "If we’re descended from chimpanzees, how come there are still chimpanzees?"
Well, we’re not descended from chimpanzees. we’re both descended from a common ancestor who lived there about six million years ago. That common ancestor then produced two branches, one of which went to us humans and one of which went to chimpanzees, branching further to produce bonobos and common chimpanzees. We are all cousins. We are not descended from chimpanzees.
More distantly related are gorillas. They share a common ancestor with both us and chimpanzees. That’s the common ancestor between gorillas and humans and chimps. So humans and chimps are a natural group, which are related to gorillas, cousins of gorillas and all of those animals, which are all African apes. The African apes are gorillas, humans, bonobos and chimpanzees. All the African apes have a common ancestor with orangutans. That’s the common ancestor with orangutans. Those are all the great apes.
So the great apes are all cousins. Within the great apes the African apes are closer cousins. Within the African apes humans, bonobos and chimps are closer cousins still, and within them bonobos and chimpanzees are the closest cousins of all.