We may not know it but humans are closely related to other creatures in the animal kingdom, our morphological composition contains the same genetic or DNA structure as these wild beings. But man is not alone in this resemblance race, other creatures also have striking similarities that clearly indicate they originated from a common lineage. Below are the Top 10 Living Things That Are Surprisingly Related.
10. Orcas and Dolphins
Though orcas are popularly known as “killer whales,” they are not related at all to whales and in fact their closest living relatives are dolphins. They are the largest members of this family and just like their relatives, orcas form complex social groups that are matrilineal. These majestic sea animals can be distinguished by their long, rounded bodies that feature a pair of dorsal fins on the back. Their black-coated bodies also have white blemishes around the underbelly and eye sockets. Just like dolphins, “killer whales” are highly intelligent and are known to orchestrate elaborate hunting schemes.
09. Camels and Llamas
Llamas can be described as short versions of camels, they inhabit the Andean mountain region of South America and though born wild most of them soon get domesticated by native communities inhabiting these territories. Scientists believe that Llamas originally inhabited North America with their camel relatives during the Micone epoch, but then migrated to South America some 3 million years ago due to shifting climatic patterns in the north. It seems like this migration worked in their favor as camels soon became extinct in modern day America, while their shorter relatives are still thriving to date.
08. Man and Chimpanzees
Humans-beings and chimpanzees are strikingly related with approximately 95% of the sequential DNA and 99% of their coding DNA looking equal, this has led to many contested speculations as to whether a hybrid can be developed from these two animals. Geneticists typically use portmanteau phrases to define hybrids, with the order of syllables is often used to indicate which parent has been adopted as the dominant species. We only have one less pair of chromosome compared to other apes, with gene 2 and 4 blending together into one large chromosome.
07. Domestic Cattle and Guard
Gaurs are also known as the Indian bison and are the largest and tallest cattle species in the world today. They inhabit South and Southeast Asia living in the thick forests and marshlands that are characteristic of these regions. During dry seasons, some herds especially those found in India may graze alongside domestic cattle due to scarcity of pasture. In some cases male gaurs have fatally attacked domesticated bulls unprovoked, maybe because of the hot weather and marauding flies that may make them become short-tempered. Most people who see these animals for the first time actually mistake them for huge cows, though that’s not the case as they are only related. With their sharp similarities, these two definitely deserve to be listed amongst the Top 10 Living Things That Are Surprisingly Related.
06. Leopards and Jaguars
Jaguars have a spotted coat that closely resembles that of a leopard though it’s larger in size and sturdier as well, just like their African cousins they have very powerful hind legs and can climb trees with tremendous ease. While dense rainforests and water-points are the jaguar’s most preferred habitat, they occasionally range across grassland terrains in search of feral goats. Both of them are solitary, opportunistic stalkers that live by trailing their prey and attacking when they least expect. However, jaguars have an incredibly powerful bite and kill by piercing the animal’s skull from above rather than suffocating.
05. Dogs and Gray Wolves
Gray wolves are the most specialized species in Canis genus and are closely related to domestic dogs morphologically, similar to the canines we keep at home they are also gregarious and showcase highly advanced expressive behaviors. Ancestors of these two species are believed to have come from Eurasia during Pleistocene, moving west to colonize North America in three successive migrations during Rancholabrean era. Wolves can bark just as dogs do but they rather prefer howling, when one of them decides to bark then the message given is usually that of an impending danger to startle other members of the pack towards a flee or fight response.
04. Wolverines and Honey Badgers
These two animals are categorized under the Musteliade family, they are known for their extreme muscular power which far outweighs the size of their bodies. Wolverines are stockier and more masculine than their relatives, looking more like a small brown bear than fellow mustelids. A single wolverine can wade off an entire pack of wolves and even kill prey much larger than them. Armed with extra powerful jaws, jaded claws and thick hide the carnivorous honey badger is also a master of its environment, it has very few natural predators due to its fierce defensive abilities.
03. Tapirs and Rhinoceros
Tapirs are large herbivorous animals that can be distinguished by their large, protruding prehensile snouts. They mainly inhabit forest and jungle areas of Central America, Southeast Asia and South America. They look quite similar to rhinos except for snouts which their larger relatives don’t have, for instance the animal possesses elaborate toes instead of hooves like other herbivorous.
02. Zebras and Horses
Zebras are native to Africa and can be distinguished by their black and white skin strips that are unique to each individual animal, just like the fingerprint is to humans. In the wild, they are social creatures that live in herds just like the feral horses that occupy North American plains. However, unlike their known relatives the horses, they have never been domesticated by mankind for the entire period that they have been in existence. There are 3 distinct species of this animal which include the mountain, Grevy’s and plains zebra. All of them belong to genus Equus.
01. Okapi and Giraffe
Okapis are also known as forest giraffes and are giraffid artiodactyl creatures that are native to Ituri Rainforest, though this animal bears stripped body markings like those of the zebra it is actually more related to giraffes. They feature a dark tan coat with horizontal stripes running across from the front and rear legs, the body is also similar to a giraffe only that okapis have shorter necks.
These Top 10 Living Things That Are Surprisingly Related each inhabit different ecological niches and have evolved extraordinary survival techniques, you can research more about them in your own free time.