Palaeontologists have been digging in Africa's sands in search of the missing link between humans and primates. Discovery this year of a fossil skull could be the first evidence of an enormous diversity of ape-like, human-like creatures that existed from five to ten million years ago. Perhaps, humans and chimpanzees might, be the only survivors of an ancient burst of evolutionary activity.
Actually, a mere 2% of our genes separate us from two species of chimpanzees: at some point, as human beings have made our way up the evolutionary scale, becoming taller and less hairy as we travelled, we probably separated from our closest relatives. Nevertheless, the longer scientists study the daily existence of primates, their family life and their complex societies, the more it seems obvious that we are, in fact, the third chimpanzee. This similarity has led chimp expert Dr Jane Goodall to call for human rights to be extended to chimpanzees.
In his book What It Means To Be 98% Chimpanzee, anthropologist Jonathan Marks argues that the 2% gene difference gave humans the great leap forward of language, separating us significantly from monkeys. That seemingly small amount of genetic matter transported us from trees to urban jungle and transformed us from exhibits into zookeepers, but it does not seem to prevent us from literally killing our "cousins": development and destruction of their natural habitats, along with commercial hunting for food, have cut their numbers from two million chimpanzees at the turn of the last century to less than one-tenth of that now.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
1.- Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a) Nobody thinks that monkeys should be treated like people.
- FALSE: "This similarity has led chimp expert Dr. Jane Goodall to call for human rights to be extended to chimpanzees."
b) The population of chimpanzees has recently increased.
- FALSE: "development and destruction of their natural habitats, along with commercial hunting for food, have cut their numbers from two million chimpanzees at the turn of the last century to less than one tenth of that now."
2.- In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer these following questions.
a) Is there any proof that humans and monkeys have common ancestors?
b) What is the "relative difference" between humans and primates and what are its consequences?
II. USE OF ENGLISH
3.- Fin the words in the text that mean:
- a) connection: link
- b) part of the skeleton which encloses the brain: skull
- c) jump ahead: leap forward
- d) apparently: seemingly
4.- Rewrite the sentences starting with the words given:
- a) He won´t speak to you unless you ask him a question.
- b) "You must do it at once", she said,
- c) The exercise is so difficult we can´t do it.
- d) Some policemen are investigating the crime.