From the Department of Information You Maybe Didn’t Want To Know, word on the street is that your ancestors were sex maniacs that liked to do it with whatever human they could find. And if that didn’t work, they weren’t averse to a little interspecies bump and grind, either, especially with the ancestors of gorillas. How do scientists know this? The answer is pretty gross, actually!
It’s generally believed that the first homo sapiens showed up around 200,000 years ago in Africa. For a majority of that time, the species never left that continent but around 60,000 years ago they moved into Asia and Europe, where they discovered Neanderthals. Neanderthals are similar but not the same, and DNA evidence shows that the two species got it on because somewhere between 1 and 4 percent of your DNA is actually Neanderthal DNA. As homo sapiens moved across Asia, they also got busy with Denisovans, a more recently discovered ancestral relative whose DNA can be found in some people in Southeast Asia.
But back to gorillas. In primatologist terms, “the coevolutionary history of primates and their lice has been anything but parsimonious.” In regular English, back in 2007 scientists realized that pubic lice — better known as crabs — bear an uncanny similarity to gorilla lice. See, most furry creatures have one species of louse that an cover them from head to toe (or paw). Since most humans aren’t as hairy as other primates, we have two. Head lice, the kind that can be passed by sharing brushes, hats, or headphones, are pretty unique to humans. But pubic lice, the kind you get from bumping uglies with a friend, bear a strong resemblance to the kind found on gorillas. The conclusion? Your ancestors were total gorillas in the sack.
(Featured image via Cinefacts)