Why Are Chimpanzees Stronger Than Humans?

Stewart Gasper

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Stewart Gasper

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    Previous research in this field suggested that the strength of Chimpanzees was related to mechanical aspects of the muscles, but thanks to the work done in 2017 by a team from the University of Arizona Medical College (Phoenix) a completely new path was opened. Directed by Dr. Matthew C. O’Neill, he focused on investigating the properties of chimpanzee muscle fibers that had been frozen after they died.

    Once the work was completed, they saw that there was really no notable difference in the way in which the muscle fibers of one or the other behaved, but in terms of length, the fibers of the chimpanzee muscles tend to be longer than those of human beings. In addition, its distribution is also peculiar.

    They found that chimpanzees have almost twice as fast muscle fiber, which allows them to contract muscle faster, but with the inconvenience of getting tired faster. In the case of humans, the muscles are dominated by slow muscle fibers, so that the contraction slows down, allowing us to resist for a longer time exercising physical activity.

    According to scientists, this would explain the greater dependence of chimpanzees on tree climbing and suspension to survive. For its part, the higher percentage of slow contraction fibers in humans has improved our ability to resist evolutionary changes and that allowed us to walk vertically and travel long distances.