Transcript: There hasn’t been a ton of great information about the Bili ape because the research is being done in the Democratic Republic of Congo where they have a lot of civil wars, poachers around the area, not to mention Ebola. Some of the initial reports were that the chimps were up to 6’5″ in height which is the height of many professional basketball players which would be gigantic. Imagine a chimpanzee that tall. Now, they’re saying that they only get up to 5’5″ inches in height which isn’t nearly as tall but is still taller than the conventional chimpanzees most people are aware of. Another thing was that they were lion killers and there’s no evidence of that because they’ve done a lot of scat tests where they determine what the chimps were eating and there’s no traces of any type of big cat meat. They say that there has been a report that they have scavenged a leopard at one time but there is no strong evidence that they killed lions or eat lions or leopards and certainly not on a regular basis. Another thing was that they were half chimpanzee, half gorilla, some kind of hybrid, but now the reports are that they have a close relationship with the eastern chimpanzee, which is Pantroglodytes. So, they’re not related to the bonobos directly but more the conventional chimpanzee which most people are already aware of.
To see what an actual hybrid between the gorilla and the chimpanzee would look like, take a look at these morphs(See video). One of the most obvious things when you start off with a chimpanzee and morph it to a gorilla is the ear size. The chimpanzees have giant floppy ears. Of course, their ears vary from chimpanzee to chimpanzee and the bonobos have different ears than the conventional chimpanzee, the Pan troglodytes chimpanzee which is related to the Billy ape. Gorillas tend to have much smaller ears and not a lot of variation between their ears. They all have small ears. The gorillas have a much bigger head and a lot of that trapezius in the back of the skull. Their giant neck muscles are kind of lumped in with their head and this looks like one big mass(see video). From the side you see their head, the giant crest in their head, and the giant neck muscles. It looks like one big mass sitting on top of their shoulders. The chimpanzees do have a sagittal crest but sometimes from the front it actually looks recessed because they have muscles on the side of their head that are anchored to the sagittal crest and they actually stick out more, they’re higher than the crest, as opposed to the gorillas where the sagittal crest is higher.The chimpanzees crest is actually lower. You can see that in a lot of photographs of chimpanzees, especially some that are bald.
Chimpanzees have a bigger muzzle.That might not be all bone structure, maybe that’s fleshy tissue, but their mouths tend to stick out more, kind of like their ears. Chimpanzees have floppy ears. There are similarities between the noses. The bridge of the nose: the chimpanzees are a little broader, and the gorillas have a thin bridge to the nose but there’s not a lot of difference between their noses. Gorilla’s noses tends to go down closer to the mouth. There’s not a lot of distance between the lips and the lowest part of the nose on the gorilla, not so much with the Chimpanzees. There’s more “mug”, orbicular oras, the muscle that goes around the mouth. You can see the that whole area is between the lowest part of the nose and the lip is taller in the chimpanzee than the gorilla.
The gorillas seem to have smaller eyes, at least in proportion to their whole head. They both have ample brow ridges but the gorilla seems to edge chimps out with heavier brow ridges and just generally more protection around the eyes. Their forehead looms out more and their cheekbones come forward a little bit more than the chimpanzee. Also, bigger jaws on the gorilla. Another thing that’s kind of subtle, if you look under the lip as it morphs back and forth between the chimpanzee and gorilla(see video) the mentalis muscle in the gorilla seems to stand out more. That’s that round muscle when you like pout your lips, kind of a circle shape muscle on top of your chin that dimples. You can see that more in the gorilla than you do in the chimpanzee.