1. says

    Could all the troll mythology have stemmed from naked chimpanzees that liked to loiter under bridges? You know, because chimpanzees have fur in the same way that muslim women wear burkas…

  2. Archaneus says

    Seeing him furless like that makes it very clear how related we are to these guys.

  3. Larry says

    Trying to remember who that was that wrote “The Naked Ape”.
    Was it Desmond Morris?? Just guessing.

  4. Murray says

    He looks more purple than pink on my screen. Is this some kind of chimpanzee alopecia?

    Poor guy looks almost bashful.

  5. pcarini says

    Poor guy looks almost bashful.

    I heard about a similar case some time back and, iirc, it mentioned that the lack of fur also affected the poor chimp’s status. I’m not having any luck digging the source up at the moment though ;(

  6. says

    That’s such a great photo. I love the original commentary by the guest blogger on BB: “Hobbies include eating fruit and making humans feel deeply uncomfortable”.

    I swear whenever I look at it out of the corner of my eye, I think it’s an old man.

  7. says

    He looks rather Caucasian, I think…

    I think that the Azeris, Armenians, Georgians, Ossetes, Abkhazians, and Chechens among others may object to this statement.

  8. Jim Bob Cooter says

    He look so sad, I want to give him a hug. After which he would tear my arms out of their sockets.

  9. Bride of Shrek OM says

    With those thighs I imagine he’d be a shoe-in for the hill sections of the Tour De France. I think he’s just gorgeous but I hope whatever is making him lose his hair isn’t nasty for the poor fellow.

  10. medinari says

    I really want to know how he lost all of his hair, I’m not sure what could do that.
    As for the pinkish skin, chimpanzees get darker skin as they get older, so this could just be a teenager whose reached adult size, but not all of the other characteristics. Also, some of the subspecies are considered to have darker skin/hair then others, as well as longer hair, etc.

  11. pradeep says

    I was born in Mysore, India and my wife lived only about a mile from this zoo. I wonder what caused this chimp to loose all of his hair, as this zoo is an excellent zoo in India. I wonder if some type of tropical mange caused all of the hair loss. But aside from that, the homologous morphology between this “naked” chimp and us startling once the hair is removed.

  12. says

    Without hair this chimp really drives home why we share 98% of our DNA.

    Living in India he’s probably not too cold but I expect he’d be prone to sunburn and skin cancer. Wonder what caused the hairloss?

  13. Menyambal says

    I’m re-reading Dawkins’s The Ancestor’s Tale, and just passed the part where he discusses sexual selection as a factor in the development of hairlessness in humans. I really thought he had a good point.

    Now, I’m not so sure.

  14. Helioprogenus says

    @#20, Meng Bonim,

    As an Armenian, it’s getting tiring having to explain that being Caucasian has nothing to do with race, but everything to do with geography. So I appreciate your comments enlightening people on this situation.

    Also, as a not-so-hairless Armenian, I must say that if I lost all my body hair like this poor Chimp, you would see the same sullen expression on my person. There are two different types of naked, and losing your body hair relegates you to the complete nakedness that I cannot fathom. It’s like shaving your fluffy dog and realizing how different he looks.

  15. SAWells says

    I know that’s a distant cousin of ours, but without the fur he looks awfully like an ancestor. Strangely moving.

  16. Richard Harris says

    Bride of Shrek @ #22, With those thighs I imagine he’d be a shoe-in for the hill sections of the Tour De France.

    No. He’d be better suited to a flat stage with a sprint finish, or, alternatively, track sprinting.

    The mountain specialists have a wiry build. The well-muscled sprint specialists have a hard time getting over the mountains & finishing within the time limit for the stage.

  17. Prof. Henry Armitage says

    Are we sure he didn’t shave himself? If I had muscles like that, I’d want to show them off.

  18. SEF says

    He looks rather Caucasian, I think

    I’d say he was nowhere near pale enough (though obviously not dark enough for the darkest of equatorial people). I’m not sure I’ve seen a human anywhere with quite that shade of skin. There’s usually a bit more yellow (fat?!) in human skin tones.

  19. says

    i went to the zoo yesterday and posted a picture. primates don’t have to be hairless to see the intense resemblance. just look into their eyes, or, if you can, interact with them.

  20. says

    I have alway thought that more important than “bipedestation” and “encephalization” naked skin truly characterize humans. It’s a pity that the fossil record does not give us much information about the process of body hair loss. However, as a Mediterranean male I have not completed yet this evolutionary process.

  21. James F says

    One of us might lose his hair
    But you’re reminded that it once was there
    From the embryonic whale
    To the monkey with no tail

    So the warm blood flows
    With the red blood cells
    Lacking nuclei
    Through the large four-chambered heart
    Maintaining the very high metabolism rate they have

    Mammal, mammal
    Their names are called
    They raise a paw
    The bat, the cat
    Dolphin and dog
    Koala bear and hog

  22. Happy Tentacles says

    Bet he regrets volunteering to take part in ‘How to Look Good Naked’.

  23. vitriolage says

    I don’t really understand why would this make anyone uncomfortable, unless they’re a fundie or something.

  24. Lilly de Lure says

    Poor guy looks almost bashful.

    So would you if you woke up one morning looking that much like Duane T Gish!

    Poor guy indeed – is this some sort of stress response and does anyone know if it’s curable?

  25. Feynmaniac says

    I remember Dawkins writing that we are are just juvenile apes. We have many characteristics of young apes, such as less body hair and enlarged skulls. The process is called neoteny. If you look at pictures of baby chimpanzees the resemblance is just as obvious as the naked ape and much less creepy.

  26. Jason Dick says

    I don’t really understand why would this make anyone uncomfortable, unless they’re a fundie or something.

    Because he’s in a zoo.

  27. Strangest brew says

    Fundyretardo attitude with regards to evolution….is displayed right there…no wonder they get all prudish and offended!

    That is why the deluded make such utter fools out of themselves…the similarity is just to much for their sensibilities…they would have to admit that maybe creation as they like to boast is a crock of old codswollop…and if that is accepted then the rest of the literal crap is also fictious poppy cock.

    Cos if their prat of a deity made man in said prat’s own image then god must look like a monkey…and they would be monkey’s following a supernatural monkey…that is just to much for the little dears…

    All ID/Creationist mechanisations has that one premise to battle…and they are failing miserably…
    All the irreducible complexity all the bogus lying false and misleading whining is all to do with that one fact…

    That is the central nexus of their uncomfortable thought…they are just descended from a great grand daddy to the nth of both humans and that fellow with no hair…and what they really shit themselves over is that it really means that god is a figment of a twisted and severely stunted juvenile imagination…oh dear!…how sad!…never mind!

  28. IST says

    Feynmaniac> Gould goes on at length about neotony in Ontogeny and Phylogeny as well. I’ve not seen Dawkins commentary on it, although I’d like to if you can tell me where to look.

  29. says

    I find it both remarkable and unsurprising how similar his arms and shoulders are to ours. The chicken-skin at the elbows. The definition around the shoulders and biceps.

  30. Joao says

    I wouldn’t trust the the apparent color of the chimpanzee. The entire color spectrum of picture seems to be shifted towards the pink/purple, as suggested by the purple colors of the exposed concrete in the wall and floor.

  31. Psychodigger says

    I feel very sorry for this poor guy to be in a zoo, especially since it is so incredibly obvious that we and the other apes are so very, very similar. We really are (more or less, judging by the comments above) hairless apes. Fascinating in a very awe inspiring way. I’ve seen him compared to cyclists above, but as a rugby player, he reminds me a lot of some of the more muscular forwards I have shared scrums with, especially in the leg and buttocks.

  32. says

    The recently deceased chimp from the St. Louis Zoo had the same skin disease. You might be able to find pictures of her on google images; search for “Cinder”.

  33. Major Tom says

    His name must be Jacob:

    Alan Bennett (Beyond the Fringe),
    “Take a Pew”
    quoting the Bible (Gen 27:11):

    Jacob answered his mother Rebekah,
    “Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, but I am a smooth man.”

  34. Feynmaniac says


    Gould goes on at length about neotony in Ontogeny and Phylogeny as well.

    Oooh, gotta check that out.

    I’ve not seen Dawkins commentary on it, although I’d like to if you can tell me where to look.

    I don’t have the book with me right now, but I’m pretty sure it’s discussed in The Ancestor’s Tale. A long, but enjoyable book.

  35. JJR says

    Cover up the face with your hand and show it to someone and I wonder if they can even tell it’s not a human body….

  36. Psychodigger says


    That´s exactly what I said to e colleague this afternoon! Apart from the oodles of evidence on evolution and all that, when looking at a photograph like this, who can possiblt say we are not related.

  37. «bønez_brigade» says

    @Joao [#61],
    If only if were a sign of convergent evolution with traits of the cuttlefish…

  38. Menyambal says

    He looks unhappy. He needs a hobby. According to the Kellogg cereal guy, monkeys learn to masturbate from “vile men and boys”. I don’t know the procedure, but if anybody is in the area, you might lend a hand.

  39. SEF says

    Cover up the face with your hand and show it to someone and I wonder if they can even tell it’s not a human body….

    The prehensile feet and short legs vs long arms are a bit of a give-away.

  40. Psychodigger says

    @ #66
    I am moe than elated to find a fellow rugby enthousiast here. therefore i hope you do not take offence, but as a number 8 Chabal barely qualifies as a forward, although in all fairness, he also played as a lock for France (quand je juge votre nom de plume correctement, vous etes peut-etre Francais ou francophone. Si je suis correcte, j´espere que vous me pardonnez ce affront. Ce n´est pas parce-qu´il est Francais, mais parce-qu´il est un numero 8). whether he qualifies as a forward or not, he´s a bloody good rugby player, that´s for sure.

  41. Neil says

    Carlie #63-that is hilarious, but I had to click the “back” button veryfastaboutadozentimes to get back to pharyngula. My slow computer at work can only take so much clever.

  42. Qwerty says

    He looks a little sad just like I feel when the barber holds up that mirror and I can clearly see my male-pattern baldness.