Who was your Nth great-grandpa? You probably will say “monkey.” 

When a monkey in the zoo stares at you perkily, you start to wonder if millions of years ago, we lived in a “monkey see, monkey do” world. Then you notice the monkey’s wagging tail. You glance over your shoulder and find nothing but your buttocks. Why don’t you have a fancy tail like your Nth great-grandpa? Perhaps, it can be explained by Darwin’s evolution theory. As you keep walking, a group of chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, and gorillas catches your attention. They seem to share more similarities with you than the monkey. But which one exactly is your ancestor? None of them. They are just our relatives. And monkeys are hardly related to us.

According to the genetic examination and morphological (i.e., physical traits) analysis, scientists find that humans, bonobos, and chimpanzees originated from a common ancestor. Therefore, bonobos and chimpanzees are the most recent distant relatives of homo sapiens (i.e., human beings). Gorillas differentiated from the group of humans, bonobos, and chimpanzees even earlier. In other words, the chimpanzee is your great-granduncle and the bonobo is your great-granduncle’s brother whereas the monkey is your great-granduncle-in-law, at best.

Who was your Nth great-grandpa? I will say “Homo-chimp-obo!”