Hominidae – Great apes
We are here! Worst family members ever, probably
Apes, not all of them but just the Great apes—chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, bonobos—and the notorious humans constitute the Hominidae family.
The word ‘hominid’ was earlier used only to refer to humans. Still, towards the end of the 20th century, we narrowed down human classification to ‘hominin,’ and ‘hominid’ now infers to all the great apes and humans. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that humans have treaded along a distinct and distant evolutionary line, making them exceptional. Still, nonetheless, we find our closest animal relatives in this family. After all, we share almost 99% of our DNA with Chimpanzees.
Many animal rights organizations insist on considering the great apes as nonhuman persons and rightly contend for their basic human rights. Despite this, orangutans and gorillas face a critical threat to their existence, while chimpanzees are assessed as endangered.
Genera in this family
Considered one species until 1996, when a second species were identified. A third was described in 2017!
The largest great apes inhabits tropical Central Africa
Native to tropical Africa, this genus included only Chimps until Bonobos were described on 1929
We, humans, and our closest relatives – at least 8 species, all of which have gone extinct