But, in hand-to-hand combat between prime specimens of both species, who would win: human or chimp? I looked at each combatant’s strengths…
Height: 5'4 standing upright
Weapon 1: Strength
Alpha Chimp is terrifyingly strong. His species has been measured as having five times the arm strength of a human male, due to more powerful muscles and better leverage. Primed by his arboreal lifestyle, Alpha Chimp has the strength to twist his adversary’s arm off.
Weapon 2: Teeth and claws
Alpha Chimp doesn’t need a gun – he has long canines and a powerful bite. He also has proportionately longer arms than Alpha Man – they are half as long as his body – giving him dangerous reach with his sharp claws.
Weapon 3: Speed
Alpha Chimp is an explosive sprinter, climber and fighter. He can jump higher and move faster than Alpha Man. He has less control over his muscles, so when it comes to action it’s all-or-nothing. But his extra power and speed come at a price – stamina is sacrificed.
Weapon 4: Ferocity
Alpha Chimp is not messing around – he’s in it to win it. Aggression is a common part of his daily life and his relentless forward assault is hard to defend against. He doesn’t hold back and aims for Alpha Man’s face, hands, feet and testicles. He’s also unpredictable, which makes him even more dangerous.
Weapon 5: Strong bones
Alpha Chimp’s skull is thicker and his bones more dense than those of his human opponent, making it hard to knock him out. He’s not known as the robust chimpanzee for nothing!
Weapon 1: Intelligence
With his superior intellect, Alpha Man has the edge – but not as much of an advantage as you might think. Chimps also have large, complex brains, they can plan ahead and are skilled at coordinating monkey hunts. Some are also experienced warmongers, systematically picking off members of neighbouring groups one-by-one.
Weapon 2: Control
Though humans are known to perform extraordinary feats of strength in life-and-death situations, Alpha Man cannot hope to match his opponent’s sheer power. However his nervous system gives him more control over his muscles, enabling him to execute more subtle moves.
Weapon 3: Training
Alpha Man is trained in hand-to-hand combat techniques – and he’s going to need every tactic at his disposal. He cannot risk getting too close to his opponent, due to the chimp’s strength and long reach, so he will have to try to attack his extremities eg hands and feet and wear him down til exhaustion takes the edge off his attack.
Weapon 4: Deception
Alpha Man has various tricks up his sleeve to distract and confuse his adversary. Throwing objects, kicking sand or dirt, head-butting or a sudden and powerful yell could all give him a momentary advantage over his primate opponent.
Weapon 5: Swimming
Alpha Man can swim, a talent that evades our closest cousins. This secret weapon may come in useful if there’s water nearby.
And the winner is…
Yes, that’s right. Physically, Alpha Chimp is a superhero compared to even the strongest human and would inevitably annihilate Alpha Man in hand-to-hand combat. But Alpha Chimp would need to have been captive-bred in order to overcome his species’ natural fear of humans. Wild chimps only attack humans in extreme circumstances – usually, they run away.
And, of course, what humans lack in sheer power we make up for in cunning. Afterall, all’s fair in love and war…