Humans in Biological and Behavioral Continuum

Humans in Biological and Behavioral Continuum


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Humans in Biological and Behavioral Continuum

All along, human beings have thought of themselves as being different from other animals in the animal kingdom. The basis of this view is the clear marked biological and behavioral differences between human beings and other primates. Most human beings however, have little knowledge on the behavioral and biological capabilities of other primates. The media has contributed in propagating this notion today through advertising and various television programs. For many years, Behavioral Psychology has taught that primate behavior just entails patterns of responses to immediate stimuli in their environment. However, this notion is decreasing as more human beings have become aware of the concept of biological and behavioral continuum. This paper will prove that even though human beings seem unique from other primate species, they all trace to a common ancestry, with similar behaviors, and biological set up, though appearing in varied degrees.

In this behavioral and biological continuum, different animal species hold different positions. The determinant of this categorization bases on a quantitative, rather than a qualitative approach. Humans rank as the most intelligent of all the other primates. This is the case if we define intelligence depending on thought patterns and ability to solve problems. Intelligence is a product of brain organ, which all primates own. The differences in intelligence level between human beings and other primates therefore, rest on the differences in capabilities of their brain matter. Human beings have a relatively larger brain as compared to chimpanzees and other primates, however, their brain processes and functions are the same (Lewis, Jurmain & Kilgore, 2010).

Both human beings and other primates portray an array of related behavior. Parental love is vital for them all. The offspring of both humans and other primates need parental love, failure to which their growth will not be successful and whole, and will reflect in their adulthood years. All primate species show their need for bonding with others. In their early developmental years, young humans and other young primates depend on their older counterparts for general learning and adaptation to their new environment. Older members of human and other primates’ population are charged with the role of nurturing the young ones. All primates, including humans react differently to different situations. The difference is that humans demonstrate a more adept degree of feelings and emotions such as cruelty, aggression, tenderness, altruism, and compassion. Humans can differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ unlike chimpanzees that do not even feel grief. Human behavior is therefore, an extension of those of other primates (Jurmain, Gore & Trevathan, 2012).

Further identical habits in humans and other social animals include basking in the sun. This is a common adaptation to life in the tropics. The occurrence of the sweet tooth in humans is thought to result from our ancestor’s intake of lots of high-sugar sweet, ripe fruits. This clearly shows human beings’ primate heritage, and their continuing adaptation to changing environment.

In conclusion, this paper has reflected on some proofs to show the linkage between human behavior and biology to those of other primates. It is no doubt that these share a common ancestry. Their neurological processes, emotions, and relationships are strikingly similar, but only vary in terms of the degree. Evolution of primate behavior remains a complex topic that needs more research as many behavioral variables in primate interactions need to be analyzed.



Jurmain R., Gore L., & Trevathan W. (2012). Essentials of Physical Anthropology. 9th Ed.

Cengage Learning.

Lewis, B., Jurmain R., & Kilgore, L. (2010). Understanding Humans: Introduction to Physical

Anthropology and Archaeology. Cenange Learning.

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