• Question: If apes evolved into humans how come they are still around and are they going to evolve into something else

    Asked by back499her to Zoe V, Michael S, Martin M, Kirsty R, Alexander dB on 27 Feb 2024.
    • Photo: Zoe Vance

      Zoe Vance answered on 27 Feb 2024:


      So it isn’t so much that humans evolved from apes, but that we evolved from a common ancestor that is neither thing. The ape ancestor existed a few million years ago and humans and other apes (humans are apes ourselves) can trace their ancestors back to there. In the time since then different species have branched off at different points in the ‘family tree’ to eventually give us modern apes (including us).

      As for whether apes will evolve into something else, it’s entirely possible because all living things are constantly evolving. Give it another few million years and we might see entirely new kinds of apes, though they will still technically be apes because they would still be nested within that grouping.

    • Photo: Alexander de Bruin

      Alexander de Bruin answered on 27 Feb 2024:


      humans are apes! we just split off a different branch of the evolutionary tree and have a different brain and limb set-up to other great apes.

    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 28 Feb 2024:


      Zoe is bang one… Man and Apes have a common ancestor millions of years ago. We are effectively cousins on the tree of life.

    • Photo: Michael Schubert

      Michael Schubert answered on 29 Feb 2024:


      These answers are excellent! Everything is always evolving, and sometimes one kind of organism can evolve into more than one kind of new organism. That’s what happened with us and the other great apes; when conditions changed, some of our ancestor apes became more and more like us until we arose, whereas others became more and more like other modern apes.

    • Photo: Kirsty Ross

      Kirsty Ross answered on 14 Mar 2024:


      Zoe’s answer is spot on. Also to add that, as evolution goes on, organisms change to fit the niche that they are living in. Our ancestors moved out of the trees and walked up right, which changed our bodies. Those apes that remained in trees needed to be able to grasp branches with their hands and feet, which modified those body parts. We are still evolving even now.

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