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Thread: The Strength of Chimps

  1. #1 The Strength of Chimps 
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    I've read (can't remember where unfortunately ) that a 170 pound chimp can pull upward with a force of 700 pounds..equivalent to a human deadlift. Anecdotally I have heard that chimps have the strength of three average men. Anyone have some good links?


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    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...full-grown-man

    I wonder if this info is true...


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    I'll have to ask my professor for a link to an experiment he mentioned to us; comparing chimps to football players, pound pound they were 5 to 7 times stronger, if I remember correctly. I'll try and get a link for you - but yes, it is true that in a hand to hand contest between you and chimp, you will not win.

    Also, when male chimps attack each other one of the first things they target is the testicles, and they do that when they attack human males as well.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    I'll have to ask my professor for a link to an experiment he mentioned to us; comparing chimps to football players, pound pound they were 5 to 7 times stronger, if I remember correctly. I'll try and get a link for you - but yes, it is true that in a hand to hand contest between you and chimp, you will not win.

    Also, when male chimps attack each other one of the first things they target is the testicles, and they do that when they attack human males as well.
    I guess that's why St. James lost his genitals. Ouch! At least his wife has remained by his side.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    We were talking about it the other day in my class on great apes because of the whole chimp attack in the news. There have been quite a few attempts in the past to raise chimps like humans and see how they come out, and it's always been a disaster. They're sweet and loveable when they're babies, and their carers love them like their own children, but when they hit puberty it's like watching your own child become psychotic. Worst of all, they're familiar enough with humans to understand exactly how much stronger than us they are, and they take advantage of it.

    Like most people in this situation one older couple had to give their chimp up to a rescue, but they went and visited him often and on his birthday brought him a cake. Well, on their way out, two other male chimps who had been watching the whole time were absolutely furious that they didn't get any cake - they broke out of their enclosure and attacked the husband. Ripped out his testicles, tore up his face and chest, he nearly died by the time the rescue owner was able to get a gun and shoot them. If a chimp jumps you and you're not ready, things go south so fast it's simply not worth the risk.

    CHIMPS ARE NOT PEOPLE, people.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    What makes them so much stronger? Are their muscle fibers simply much thicker?
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    They eat an apple a day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    They eat an apple a day.
    :?
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    i know that chimps' bones are denser than ours but i don't know how much that would effect actual strength. i also read somewhere that their muscles are much more efficient than ours. like you said, their muscles fibers are bigger and stronger.

    chimps are also much more aggressive than humans so i'm assuming that they've become that strong over time due to them being so much more aggressive than us. just a guess.
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    I actually heard that Gorillas can benchpress about 700 lbs and can crush a lions skull in a single fist (we're talking silverbacks here).
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    Quote Originally Posted by mormoopid
    I actually heard that Gorillas can benchpress about 700 lbs and can crush a lions skull in a single fist (we're talking silverbacks here).
    I think they are much much stronger than that. 250 pound bodybuilders can bench press 500-600 pounds (some people can bench 900+ with a bench shirt used in powerlifting competition but the shirt acts as a spring and can add 100's of pounds to a lift, which is why "raw" bench press records hold fast and shirted bench press records are always on the rise) and a Silverback would tear them to shreds. He would, at 310450 lb, with denser bones, stronger muscle fibers and living in an environment which requires him to be much more aggressive, probably be able to lift any man in the air and then slam him and crush him to oblivion. Think about it. If they can crush a lion's skull in a single blow as you've said we are hopeless. Saying they could bench press 700 pounds would put them in a league with human powerlifters. Imagine a powerlifter fighting a lion....he wouldn't be nearly strong enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    We were talking about it the other day in my class on great apes because of the whole chimp attack in the news. There have been quite a few attempts in the past to raise chimps like humans and see how they come out, and it's always been a disaster. They're sweet and loveable when they're babies, and their carers love them like their own children, but when they hit puberty it's like watching your own child become psychotic. Worst of all, they're familiar enough with humans to understand exactly how much stronger than us they are, and they take advantage of it.

    Like most people in this situation one older couple had to give their chimp up to a rescue, but they went and visited him often and on his birthday brought him a cake. Well, on their way out, two other male chimps who had been watching the whole time were absolutely furious that they didn't get any cake - they broke out of their enclosure and attacked the husband. Ripped out his testicles, tore up his face and chest, he nearly died by the time the rescue owner was able to get a gun and shoot them. If a chimp jumps you and you're not ready, things go south so fast it's simply not worth the risk.

    CHIMPS ARE NOT PEOPLE, people.
    Is this an indication that chimps expect equality, or follow a pecking order, in this example?
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    We were talking about it the other day in my class on great apes because of the whole chimp attack in the news. There have been quite a few attempts in the past to raise chimps like humans and see how they come out, and it's always been a disaster. They're sweet and loveable when they're babies, and their carers love them like their own children, but when they hit puberty it's like watching your own child become psychotic. Worst of all, they're familiar enough with humans to understand exactly how much stronger than us they are, and they take advantage of it.

    Like most people in this situation one older couple had to give their chimp up to a rescue, but they went and visited him often and on his birthday brought him a cake. Well, on their way out, two other male chimps who had been watching the whole time were absolutely furious that they didn't get any cake - they broke out of their enclosure and attacked the husband. Ripped out his testicles, tore up his face and chest, he nearly died by the time the rescue owner was able to get a gun and shoot them. If a chimp jumps you and you're not ready, things go south so fast it's simply not worth the risk.

    CHIMPS ARE NOT PEOPLE, people.
    Is this an indication that chimps expect equality, or follow a pecking order, in this example?
    Male chimps especially follow a strict hierarchy, within which there is constant fighting and challenging for higher status. This is why chimps become so violent once they mature - unlike a dog that can learn to accept being second in command, a chimp will continue to challenge you for dominance, especially if it thinks there's a good chance it would win in a fight.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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    "Strong" in what way? It's not really fair to ask how much a dog or kangaroo can bench press, so why compare chimps to humans? Obviously chimps can do chin-ups and assorted monkey bars better than humans, and so pulling our ears off should be easy and natural. On the other hand I strongly doubt any chimp could lift a sack of mortar and set it up at (chimp's) shoulder level, or crack ribs with a kick. I've noticed when gorillas stand very upright, their legs quiver from the strain. Surely no gorilla dad could carry a baby on his shoulders as humans casually do - he's not strong enough.

    And then the most primitive tool blows this all out the window: B.C. man comes out swinging in bear attack.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Of course there are things humans do that the other apes can't - I heard once that the other apes evolved more for strength but humans more for speed and flexibility - a chimp most certainly couldn't throw a spear like a human can. (Can't find a reference for that though....still looking.)

    When it comes to human interaction with chimps though, as I've said earlier, if they manage to get the jump on you they can seriously tear you up before you have a chance to react, before you can grab that great equalizing tool. Females especially will wait until you're not looking. It's a serious risk you have to consider.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    I think another reason humans lose in these attacks, is we hesitate to retaliate with greater violence. The attack I watched, another human stood passive the whole time, I guess afraid to damage "property", namely the attacker. If you're granted the privilege to interact with chimpanzees, and one pulls your hair, are you right to kick its teeth out? Probably no - you might even be sued.

    The circus people who handle big cats, don't hesitate to basically flog animals into submission.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    "Strong" in what way? It's not really fair to ask how much a dog or kangaroo can bench press, so why compare chimps to humans? Obviously chimps can do chin-ups and assorted monkey bars better than humans, and so pulling our ears off should be easy and natural. On the other hand I strongly doubt any chimp could lift a sack of mortar and set it up at (chimp's) shoulder level, or crack ribs with a kick. I've noticed when gorillas stand very upright, their legs quiver from the strain. Surely no gorilla dad could carry a baby on his shoulders as humans casually do - he's not strong enough.

    And then the most primitive tool blows this all out the window: B.C. man comes out swinging in bear attack.
    I wasn't accounting for weapons. We've all seen what weapons can do and using any kind of tool is cheating in my book. Any man can blow away another creature with a gun or crush a skull with a rock. I was talking hand-to-hand combat. And the leg comment...well, they didn't need leg strength to tear up St. James and the more recent case of the lady who was seriously injured. The story of the man crushing the bear's skull is merely a testament to our unique human ingenuity and helps explain how early man may have wiped out the cave bear. If one man fighting for his life managed to survive a bear attack in this day and age using only a stick..imagine a clan of 5-10 men hunting one bear with spears...
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  19. #18  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I think another reason humans lose in these attacks, is we hesitate to retaliate with greater violence. The attack I watched, another human stood passive the whole time, I guess afraid to damage "property", namely the attacker. If you're granted the privilege to interact with chimpanzees, and one pulls your hair, are you right to kick its teeth out? Probably no - you might even be sued.

    The circus people who handle big cats, don't hesitate to basically flog animals into submission.
    That probably is the case - I'm sure the police officers didn't know much about chimps and how they behave, and people who raise chimps from the time they are infants feel a great affection towards them and don't want to hurt them. This is really why many wild animals should not be kept as pets - in order to keep yourself and others safe you have to essentially be cruel to them. It's just an all around bad situation.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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