How chimps outmuscle humans

Contrary to well-known legend portrays chimpanzees as having super strength, studies only show the modest difference with humans. But our closest relatives are slightly stronger by several measures, and now a study compare muscle fibers of different primates shows a perspective explanation: Human may have traded strength for endurance, allows us to go further for foods.

To identify why chimpanzee is stronger than human – at least on a pound to pound basis. Matthew O’Neill and his colleague remade thigh and calf muscle of three chimps in University of New York. They split samples into individual fibers to figure out how much force they could generate. Compare their measurements with known data from human, research teams recognize that at the individual fiber level, muscle output was about the same.

Researchers have analyze more through samples from pelvic and hind limb muscle of three chimps from various zoos and labs across U.S.A. Earlier studies in mammal showed that the muscle composition between trunk, forelimb, and hind limb muscles is largely the same, so that he believe that most sample represent for whole of chimp’s muscles. The team used a technique called gel electropheresis to break down muscles into individual muscle fabrics and compare this analysis with data of human muscle.

The team ran its data via computer program built virtual muscles corresponding to the fiber composition of humans and chimps, then simulated how much power that each muscle could generate theoretically during a single burst. They learned that chimp muscle was about more 1.35 times powerful than the  human one.


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