Apes have 24 pairs of chromosomes but humans only have 23 pairs. Normally humans have two copies of chromosome 2 and it is the second largest chromosome. It has more than 242 base pairs which are the building materials for our DNA.
All hominids have 24 pairs of chromosomes EXCEPT modern humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans and that’s where things get interesting! Humans only have 23 pairs and chromosome 2 is believed to be the result of an end to end fusion of two ancestral chromosomes. That fusion occurred in our common ancestor that we share with the apes.
Our closest relative is the chimpanzee and their DNA is nearly identical to ours. That is, their DNA sequences are nearly identical to human chromosome 2. The same is true of orangutans and gorillas!
Normally, a chromosome has one center (called a Centromere) but human chromosome has two! And normally a chromosome has two ends (known as Telomeres) with one being at each end. But, chromosome 2 has FOUR!
Left: normal chromosome. Right: Human Chromosome 2
Human chromosome 2 is obviously fused and there is no denying that. Humans share a common ancestor with the apes and it’s believed this fusion took place during the time of that unknown ancient common ancestor. So for those who don’t believe humans and apes don’t have anything in common, sorry, but the genetic evidence says WE DO and without any doubt!
Watch the video below for a simple and understandable explanation of human chromosome 2.
Video: Where is the Genetic Evidence for Evolution?