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Humans micro-lesson

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Learning time​

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Sometimes, we only hear of four great ape species: the gorilla, the orangutan, the chimpanzee, and the bonobo. However, there is another great ape species, us. Like the other apes we've just mentioned, we are covered in hair, not fur. We have opposable thumbs. We are highly intelligent, and we lack a tail. The scientific word for humans is Homo sapiens which means wise man or person. Where we differ from the other apes is that our brains have evolved so much that we are able to solve very complex problems. We can learn from good and bad experiences. We can reason and we can make decisions that benefit us and those around us. And for good or bad, humans have adapted relatively quickly to changing environments. But how are we similar to our relatives, the other great apes? Well, other than the orangutans, we live in family groups which are led by older members. Like all apes, we feed on milk when we are born and when young, we are like completely on the care of our mothers, parents, or guardian. We also learn from older members of the family much like all the other apes. However, as we have evolved to be more intelligent, we have also lost some of the skills that the other great apes have. Humans are not nearly as agile as the other great apes, especially when climbing. We also have a far less developed sense of smell, and we are notably less strong than the other great apes. Perhaps the greatest advantage the other great apes have over humans is that they can get all they need right from their immediate environment. They don't need to farm or visit the shops to get food and they can get all the exercise they need just by doing their daily tasks. Despite our differences, humans and the other great apes share much of the same DNA and even share similar blood types.

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Answer time

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  • Although we have similar blood types, why ca'n't humans and chimpanzees share the same blood?

    1) We are a different species
    2) Chimpanzees will not give blood
    3) We are not friendly towards chimpanzees
    4) Humans don't like to share
  • Do humans share a lot of their DNA with the other great apes?

    1) Yes
    2) No
  • How do humans get most of their food?

    1) From farms or shops
    2) Hunting
    3) Fishing
    4) Laying traps
  • How does a great sense of smell help all apes?

    1) Smell is food if rotten or smell danger like a fire
    2) Smell nice flowers
    3) They can tell if they stink
    4) They know when food is cooked
  • How many species of great ape are there?

    1) 5
    2) 4
    3) 6
    4) 15
  • Most humans are unable to survive long in the wild, why?

    1) We do not have the skills to find enough food
    2) We would miss our family
    3) We would get too lonely
    4) We do not like the dark
  • Some humans are colour blind. How might this seriously affect the other great apes?

    1) The other apes rely on sight to detect ripe fruit
    2) It will confuse them
    3) They will not see all the nice colours
    4) The other apes might not see danger coming
  • What do infant apes feed on?

    1) Milk
    2) Bread
    3) Ice-cream
    4) Vegetables
  • What is the main difference between us and the other great apes?

    1) Our brains have evolved more
    2) We have longer legs
    3) We have bigger eyes
    4) We have more hair
  • What is the scientific name for humans?

    1) Homo sapiens
    2) Homo saplings
    3) Humans
    4) Homo scientfic
  • Why do apes need to be stronger than humans are?

    1) So they can move through their habitat more easily
    2) So they can kill animals
    3) So they can fight humans
    4) So they can build large houses
  • Why do humans have much less hair than apes?

    1) Humans can wear clothes to stay warm
    2) Hair makes humans look messy
    3) So we can tell the difference between males and females
    4) Humans shave all the time
  • Why don't humans have long canines like chimpanzees and gorillas?

    1) Humans do not need to scare off predators
    2) Humans go to the dentist
    3) Humans don't like long teeth
    4) Because humans do not eat meat
  • Why don't we need to build nests like other great apes do?

    1) Because humans can build houses
    2) We don't like to build out of twigs
    3) Because humans are scared of heights
    4) Humans do not like the outdoors
  • Why is it important that young primates stay with their parents for a long time?

    1) So they can learn the skills they need to survive
    2) They will miss their mother
    3) So they do not get lonely
    4) So their parents can play with them

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Meet your educator

Our micro-courses are developed and delivered by qualified educators from around the world.

Brett Evans

Brett Evans

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Bonobos, just like their cousins the chimpanzees, are another member of the great apes. They…