Great Ape Minds and Human Evolution: Understanding Our Closest Living Relatives, the Chimpanzees and Bonobos

The Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BF, United Kingdom
0207 434 4479 ext 211

EVENING MEETING 18:00–19:00 Thursday 15 November 2018

© Zanna Clay

Chimpanzees and bonobos are human’s closest living relatives; we share approximately 98.6 % of our genetic material with them and diverged from their lineage around 7-8 million years ago. Given their close genetic relationship to humans, both species represent crucial living models for reconstructing our last common ancestor and for identifying uniquely human features. Despite being closely related, chimpanzees and bonobos show some striking differences spanning behaviour, social structure, cognition, physiology, morphology and neural-anatomy. In this presentation, we will explore some of these similarities and differences and consider how these can contribute to a more balanced model of human evolution.

Dr Zanna Clay is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Durham University. She is a primatologist and developmental psychologist interested in the evolution and development of empathy, language and culture through studying great apes and human children. She is leading specialist in great ape behaviour and communication, and conducts her research in both the wild and captivity with bonobos and chimpanzees.

  • This event is free and open to all.
  • Registration is essential. Seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Doors will open at 17:30.
  • Tea will be served in the Library from 17:30 and the event will be followed by a white wine reception.

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