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Animals

The Super Strength of Chimpanzees, Explained

A study shows that chimps have more “fast-twitch” muscle fibers that enable sudden strength, while humans have more of the “slow-twitch” fibers that enhance endurance.

Published On 06/29/2017
5:52 PM EDT
I I n 1926, scientist John Bauman brought five “husky farm lads” and three chimpanzees to Muhlenberg College for an experiment. The husky humans and chimpanzees all had to pull a dynamometer, which looked like a carnival machine designed to test strength. To the astonishment of Bauman, the chimps out-pulled the muscular men with ease. In fact, a female former circus chimp named “Suzette” made a random pull of 1,258 pounds, which was four times the average pull of the lads.