- Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), Bonobo (Pan paniscus)
- 98.7 percentage
- Not Applicable ()
Although figures vary from study to study, it's currently generally accepted that chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and their close relatives the bonobos (Pan paniscus) are both humans' closest-living relatives, with each species sharing around 98.7% of our DNA. Chimpanzees are widespread across equatorial Africa, while bonobos are restricted to the south of the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These two great apes are believed to have diverged around 2 million years ago and, despite similar genetics, they have evolved some major distinctions in that time. Morphologically, bonobos are smaller and more slender in their build compared with common chimpanzees, plus their faces and lips differ. Contrasts between behaviour and societal structure are even more stark, with chimpanzees living in male-dominated communities, where high levels of aggression between individuals and groups are common. Bonobos, on the other hand, live in female-led societies and are known for their more pacifist nature and also their high sex drives.
Various studies have put the percentage from as low as 96% to as high as 99.4%. Some scientists believe that chimps and bonobos are so similar to humans that they should be reclassified into the genus Homo.
By comparison to the other great apes, gorillas and humans share about 96% DNA, while orangutans and humans are genetically similar by circa 97%, though again these figures vary across studies.
Humans and chimps/bonobos are believed to have had a common ancestor as little as 8 million years ago – which is a fairly short time in evolutionary terms.