Chimpanzees – Towards Human and Associated Protections

As scientists amass data, chimpanzees are moving closer towards human. They are sentient, self-aware beings with strong cognitive skills and a proven ability to communicate, reason, express emotions, adapt, and even manipulate and deceive. With genetic material 98.5% identical to that of humans, chimpanzees are more similar to people than gorillas. Consequently, serious ethical implications exist regarding chimpanzee captivity and use in laboratory experiments. Below is a close examination of chimpanzees:

Chimpanzees live in areas comprising 21 African countries that encompass grasslands, dry savannah and rainforests. They often live in communities that range from 20-100 members. Two species of chimpanzee exist – the common chimpanzee (which has four subspecies) and the Bonobo (also known as the “pygmy chimpanzee”) The former subsists on a diet of fruit and meat, the latter solely on fruit. Their average life span ranges from 40-50 years. Chimpanzees are currently listed as endangered primarily due to deforestation and poaching.

I. Brain Size/Structure/Nervous System:

Chimpanzees have a brain and nervous system How to construct great arguments comparable to that of a human. They learn extremely quickly, possess the ability to produce creative responses, express emotions (through sounds, gestures and facial expressions), influence their surroundings, and share the same qualitative experience in pain despite a cerebral cortex that is about 1/3 the size of that in humans.

The average chimpanzee brain weighs 437 g versus 1.3 kg for the average human. When comparing brain size to body size – the Encephalization Quotient (EQ), the average chimpanzee brain registers about 2.49 (third to the 7.44 and 5.31 EQ of the average human and dolphin; the Rhesus Monkey comes in fourth at 2.09). This indicates a high-level of cognitive ability.

Both humans and chimpanzees engage in the same sleep patterns. This includes the stages of rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, indicating both are likely capable of dreaming.