Evolution: why are there still monkeys, apes, chimps, etc.?

I can see species evolving, and would never deny that it’s a natural process.

I guess the question is “If we evolved from monkeys, why are monkeys still around?” These are not terms I would use, but ones I have seen used before.

I think I can estimate a reason, but I’m no governing body.

I guess to parse it down, the question would be “If humans were derived from another species, why would that species still exist un-evolved?”

What are the prevailing theories here?

One way speciation can occur is if a population is isolated from another of the same species such as by an island or mountain chain. Gradually conditions change in the different populations so they grow apart and eventually can* no longer interbreed.

Which does not always mean that the original population has changed into a different species because the isolated population has!

*or “no longer do”, depending on your own pet theory of speciation :slight_smile:

We didn’t evolve from monkeys. Monkeys, orangutangs and apes (including us) evolved from a common ancestor. All the types of primates fill different evolutionary niches. Not that hard if you take the time to actually understand evolution.

Because chickens taste better and are easier to catch.

The species we are evolved from isn’t still around. That species is just a common ancestor that we share with apes. If one species only ever evolved into one single other species the world would likely have a grand total of one species.

Those monkeys that are still around are descended from monkeys that avoided getting their asses caught in the particular crack that selected for human traits.
Today’s monkeys are probably not exactly the same as the monkeys which we evolved from since, in the ensuing two or three million years, there’s been time for lots of genetic drift and selection events within the monkey population.

I humbly await your thesis. And an explanation for us who don’t quite get it.

If white Americans came form Europe, why are there still Europeans around?

When you can answer that you have the answer to your own question.

That’s basically what I thought, also, jive talking apes would suck.

http://www.utdallas.edu/~besp/images/Ape_and_Human_Evolution_Tree.JPG The evolutionary Tree. Common ancestor ,separate branches.

Because chickens taste better and are easier to catch.

Humans evolved on the grassy plains of east Africa. A lot of the features that separate us from other species of primates are specific adaptations to that environment. We walk upright on two legs because it’s a more efficient way of covering long distances on flat open ground. We aren’t covered in hair because sweating is an useful way to shed excess heat in a sunny open environment. We have a brain that helps us work together as pack hunters and communal gatherers.

Our closest relatives, the chimps, evolved for a different environment. They’re forest foragers, not grassland hunters. So, because they were subject to different environmental pressures, they evolved in a different direction.

Milford Wolpoff begs to differ, yo.

And so do the Jeebus Freaks.

Evolution happens one organism at a time; they don’t all grow thumbs and wings simultaneously.

If lions exist, why are there still tigers?

Yes, but we’re talking about how many thousands of years here? This isn’t a case of not catching up, I think it’s more along the lines of what The Hamster King was saying about differing environments, and their respective pressures on traits.

Who was their common ancestor?

Some cat.

Amid all the crud here, Terraplane has it. Our ancestor (who was not a monkey) no longer exists. In fact we have many ancestral species who no longer exist, some of which were ancestral to both us and our nearest neighbors, the chimps.

Out of curiosity, have you ever read a book on evolution or visited Talk Origins?. Do so and you will be enlightened.

If you exist, why do you still have cousins?

You and your cousins have a common ancestor of a grandparent.

Apes and humans are just very distant cousins.