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Introduction

Fast forward into the future and what would have happened to the 21st Century primate species?
The reigning human domination of the world has influenced the change in genetics of the primate species. No longer is there a 2% difference between human and chimpanzee, but there now is only a 1% DNA difference between human and primate. The social acceptance of these animals has revolutionized the entire primate species.
The next generation of chimpanzees are...
HUMANZEES.
A revolutionary ape species and the next generation of the chimpanzee, humanzees have inherited 99% of human DNA (as opposed to chimpanzees; 98% replica of human DNA) and the relationship between human and ape have strengthened through advancing medical and scientific research.

Habitat

Since deforestation has continued and there has been no action to reduce the issue, the species of chimpanzees have become extinct, due to the limited remainder of the forests, which are a necessity for a chimpanzee's survival. The tall trees and vast forest and savanna plains provided shelter and protection to chimpanzees, but with the destruction of these vital physical features, the chimpanzee species were exposed during both day and night to their predators, and the species number began to decrease, eventually becoming extinct.

Humanzees find it difficult to adapt to such a barren environment with no trees or forests, after all, they have increased one percentage closer to being exactly human. Instead of attempting to adapt to a difficult environment, humanzees have migrated to Zimbabwe in South Africa, and now live in the Hwange National Park, along with a large abundance of approximately 100 other mammal species. Therefore, with the addition of the humanzee species, a larger and more diverse animal population, in a national park in South Africa, has been created.
Since humanzees have migrated to South Africa, and its habitat is within a national park means that it has lost some of its traditional chimpanzee/ape/primate abilities of survival and defence, due to, once again, the highly dominant reign of the human race.

Annotated_Hwanga_National_Park_Map.jpg
(Fig. 1) Map showing the location of Hwange National Park (Humanzees' new habitat)
Source: http://www.unr.edu/anthropology/people/faculty/haynes/recImages.htm
Aspects of the Environment

As a national park, there are a large variety of animals that habit this location besides the humanzee. Some of these animals include the African elephant, which is the most notable animal of the park as there are so many elephants within the location, black-backed jackal, that is nocturnal and omnivorous, as well as spotted hyenas, which is the most common species of hyena in the park. There are many more animal species within the park, as well as a large variety of birds.

In this environment, there is a limited supply of trees and plantation, and there are artificial (man-made) water holes in place for animals. With more human genetics and DNA, the humanzee has abstained from eating and killing animals, and now has a solid, plant-based diet. In the past, meat only played a small percentage of an ape's diet, so therefore, humanzees do not feel the need to consume the minute portion of meat. But with only a limited source of plantation and trees and a strong plant based diet, there is a high chance of difficulty in maintaining a healthy and large species if humanzees.

Since humanzees have a plant-based diet, they do not hunt animals, but they still have predators. With a larger variety of animal species surrounding their habitat means an increased number of new predators, including leopards, snakes (large), and baboons.

The Hwange National Park (Tanzania, South Africa) measures a size exceeding 14 000 square kilometres, allowing an extremely vast amount of space for animals to roam freely. It is a tourist destination, with Victoria Falls just close by the park. Humanzees will attract the attention of a great deal of visitors, as the resemblance between the two species of apes are almost exactly the same (1% difference). This also provides opportunities for humanzees to interact with park visitors and eventually, learn to communicate effectively through e.g. sign lanuguage, as some chimpanzees did in the past.

Adaptations

Structural Adaptation ONE
Unlike the homo habilis and the chimpanzee, Humanzees have abandoned the unique feet like structure of a foot with an opposable big toe. In its place is an exact replica of a human foot (5 toes on each foot; no opposable big toe). With the abandonment of this unique body feature comes a disadvantage: it has lost its ability to climb trees. By losing this vital ability, Humanzees become easy targets to their predators, and is a factor which may lead to extinction of the species. They have also developed human hands (5 fingers on each hand) as well as human feet.
Also, the fact that there is a limited supply of trees and plants in the national park create disadvantages in the survival of various other animal species that rely on these physical structures for protection. Even though ability is lost when abandoning a past body structural part, having two human-like legs and feet enable Humanzees to walk on both legs whilst upright (bipedalism) as opposed to the traditional 'knuckle-walking'. With the bonus of the two new body structures, Humanzees can travel longer distances, though mainly close by, within the grounds of the national park. The ability to stand upright with two human-like legs is also an intimidating position towards smaller, inferior animals. The average height of Humanzees is approximately 1.5 metres, and when the Humanzee stands completely upright, a sense of height is established, intimidating an inferior, smaller animal.

An environmental pressure that may have given rise to this adaptation is the evolution of Humanzee DNA. With the ever-increasing domination of the human race, advanced medical and scientific research has been undertaken, and results from ape species study and experimentation suggests that Humanzees were affected through slight genetic mutation by the natural selection process. It indicated how past species of apes were able to climb trees and lived in rainforest, mountainous and savanna-like environments where there was an abundant source of natural vegetation, including plants, trees, bushes, etc. Therefore, the genetic mutation and evolution of past ape species has led to the Humanzee species acquiring human-like feet, and abandoning the opposable big toe.

Structural Adaptation TWO
With the development of new ideas and technologies within the human race, Humanzees also have developed one of their most vital structures which many, in fact, all living organisms have, and that is the brain. Averagely speaking, the human brain size is approximately 1350 cc (cubic centimetres), and the, now, extinct species of chimpanzee had an average brain size of about 400 cc. The Homo Habilis, one of the earliest species of apes that lived around 2.2 to 1.6 million years ago, had a brain size of approximately 650 cc.
Bearing in mind that they are now 99% exactly alike humans, the brain size of the Humanzees species has increased to about 900 cc. With a larger brain size, Humanzees would have a larger expanse of knowledge, as well as increased intellectual ability (and strategical thinking). With an increased expanse of knowledge, Humanzees can take advantage of this knowledge to develop new methods and strategies to (a) protect themselves from predators, and (b) ensure a variety of plants for its herbivorous diet.

With such a diverse animal population surrounding the species, Humanzees must bear in mind that an increased animal population means an increased number of predators, which is one environmental factor that may have given pressure to the rise of this adaptation. With the issue of limited plantation within the national park, and adapting to a completely different environment, genetic mutation pertaining to natural selection had developed the Humanzee brain, increasing the size and boosting the knowledge and the overall intellectuality of the new ape species. Therefore, with the arising pressure to develop methods of protection and survival, genetic mutation has increased the brain size and capacity of Humanzees to better adapt to its new habitat.

Behavioral Adaptation ONE
The importance of group living is important within the ape species, and so it is within the Humanzee species. A behavioral adaptation that has been inherited throughout generations and now present within the Humanzee species. Humanzees live and hunt (though there is no need to hunt as they are herbivores; no meat supplement in diet) within small groups. These small living groups allow effective communication between group members as well as cooperating to protect the group from predators and danger. This adaptation is effective because of the fact that when one Humanzee is e.g. cornered by a predator, the remainder of the group will assist/help in defending the targeted animal and possibly fight or flee the situation, before anyone/anything is injured.

The main environmental pressure towards this adaptation is, yet again, the surrounding diverse animal population, especially the predatory species. When Humanzees first arrived at the Hwange National Park, they did not live or hunt in groups. After a number of cases where Humanzees had been killed by predators whilst they were alone, the Humanzee population divided themselves into small groups of about 8 or 9, and began living and hunting together to protect themselves and the group. Therefore, with the Humanzee's instincts to live in small communal groups, rarely has there been cases of finding dead Humanzees alone within the national park.

Behavioral Adaptation TWO
Sign language as a communication method between Humanzees and humans have been extremely successful. With influence of the human way of life, Humanzees can communicate with each other through sign language as well as the traditional loud shouting and screaming method. It is an advantage to know both methods of communication, as one can be used during long distance communication with another Humanzee, and another, for short distance or close-by communication.

Living in a national park, in such a country as Africa, allows the introduction and development of new skills and abilities, and in this instance, sign language has been acquired. With Victoria Falls close to the park, Hwange National Park is quite a tourist destination for foreign visitors. Sign language was taught through interactions and encounters with human park visitors, however, scientists and researchers have both taught them some basics of sign language as well as encouraging the Humanzees to interact with the foreign park visitors through one universal language, that is neither written nor spoke. Therefore, park visitors and their species development contributed to the use of sign language in a Humanzee's day-to-day life.

Behavioral Adaptation THREE
To think sign language was not enough of a breakthrough for apes, writing or inscribing words became a common practice or even a 'hobby' for Humanzees. The evolution of its hands into human-like hands enabled Humanzees to better hold/grip objects. These creatures cannot operate pens like humans, but a stick is used as a 'pen' and e.g. a tree trunk, would play the role of paper. They did not write words, but instead, inscribed various symbols and pictures in which only, probably, Humanzees could interpret.

Once again, the influence of humans and 99% similarity of DNA between human and Humanzee contributes as an environmental pressure that may have led to the rise of this adaptation. Humans can perfectly hold a pen in their hand, whereas Humanzees cannot. They must grasp the stick with all fingers in order to control the movement and flow of the inscription. The symbols and pictures created by Humanzees are abstract in the human eye, but may be filled with meaning in a Humanzee's perspective. Therefore, the DNA relationship between Humanzees and humans majorly contributes to the explanation of how Humanzees began drawing.

Selection/Environmental Pressure
The main selection pressure of the Humanzee ape species is the genetic mutation of its body structure. Not only is a Humanzee's body important, but there are certain aspects that help the animal to survive. As mentioned above, the abandonment of the opposable big toe on its foot led to the incapability of climbing trees. Chimpanzees, when they were still alive, built nests atop of trees on their branches to prevent their ground predators from harming them as they rested throughout the night. At the expense of losing the ability to climb trees and the horrible consequences of deforestation, Humanzees had to migrate from their natural habitats in Western and Eastern Africa to the South, into the Hwange National Park in Tanzania (South Africa). But even in a national park, there is a high chance of the extinction of Humanzees.

The national park has limited plantation and vegetation which will arise as an environmental pressure as Humanzees are herbivorous mammals. Without an abundant diet, it is unknown whether or not (a) the Humanzee's diet will change to adapt to the food source available at the national park or (b) the species will become extinct. If the Humanzee decides to migrate to another habitat close-by, there may be a higher rate of survival as the animal would seek a new habitat/environment with an abundant source of plantation and vegetation.

If the right habitat is incorrectly chose, there will be a great degree of difficulty for the Humanzee to adapt, and therefore, this may lead to extinction.

Future_Animal_-_Annotated_Adaptations.jpg
(Fig. 2) Labelled image of Humanzee adaptations
Source: Monica Lo; Monica's Camera
Bibliography

American Sign Language (ASL) and Chimpanzees (2005) Chimpanzees and ASL. Retrieved June 24th, 2011 from http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/topics/chimpanzeesandasl.htm
NPR (2011) The Chimp That Learned Sign Language. Retrieved June 22nd, 2011 from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90516132
Primate Info Net (2010) Chimpanzee; Pan troglodytes. Retrieved June 25th, 2011 from http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/chimpanzee/behav
TalkOrigins.org (2002) Creationist Arguments: Brain Sizes. Retrieved June 25th, 2011 from http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/a_brains.html
Uyaphi (2011) Hwange National Park. Retrieved June 25th, 2011 from http://www.uyaphi.com/zimbabwe/game-reserves/hwangeNP.htm