Chimpanzee and Human Chromosomes – Learning Pack

In collaboration with The Open University, The Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

This pack uses a primate genome puzzle to explore differences and similarities between human and chimpanzee chromosomes. The materials can be applied flexibly to themes on heredity, chromosome structure, duplication, deletion, translocation or inversion and even the formation of chromosome-2 by fusion of ancestral ape chromosomes (as featured in the new Scottish Higher qualification). Try hybridising a chimp and human with our puzzle – see what happens!

Chimpanzee & Human Chromosomes Teachers Guide – PDF document (0.8MB)

Chimpanzee and Human Chromosomes Links to Scottish Curriculum – PDF document (0.2MB)

Chimpanzee & Human Chromosomes Student Activity Sheets – PDF document (0.4MB)

This puzzle has been formated for printing on card or paper at around A3. See our Public Engagement with Science review for images of our giant version available in the zoo and at various science fairs. Contact us for more details or if you are interested in commissioning a giant set:

 Chimpanzee & Human Chromosome Puzzle PDF (3.12MB)

Chimpanzee and Human Chromosome Puzzle – instructions and information PDF poster (2.3MB)

Primate Genomes Spot the Difference – poster PDF (7.7MB)

My Primate Family Tree ppt (0.9MB)


4 thoughts on “Chimpanzee and Human Chromosomes – Learning Pack”

    • Good question, and it depends how you want to look at it.
      You have a shared ancestor with all other humans and chimps that lived 6 million years ago. I guess that is about 300,000 generations back to your ancestor and then another 300,000 generations back down the chimp family line to get to the present day chimpanzee. Another way to look at it is that if we look at your DNA and that of a chimps, about 98% of your genetic code is identical to that of a chimpanzee.
      I was about to write that all humans are as equally related to chimpanzees as you… But that isn’t strictly true if we are counting generations. Your parents are one generation closer to the chimpanzee than you are!
      Hope that helps!

      • Thank you so much for a quick response, this will help me endlessly with my University dissertation. Is it true that Chimpanzees perform the same sexual behaviours as a Human Being? I read about it in a wildlife magazine that’s all…

  1. Bonobos are the only non-human animal to have been observed engaging in all of the following sexual activities: face-to-face genital sex, tongue kissing, and oral sex. When Bonobos come upon a new food source or feeding ground, the increased excitement will usually lead to communal sexual activity. This is a factor in the lower levels of aggression seen in the bonobo when compared to the common chimpanzee and other apes. Bonobos are perceived to be matriarchal, females tend to collectively dominate males by forming alliances and use sexuality to control males.


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