Have you ever wondered how much DNA you share with the animals of the world? The results may surprise you. While it makes a lot of sense to think that we share a large portion of our DNA similarities with animals like chimpanzees and apes, we also share DNA with many other organisms including dogs, bananas, and daffodils! Let’s go over the DNA likenesses that we as human beings have with other living creatures.
Every single living organism on the planet has DNA. This is a self-replicating material that passes on information from one organism to the next. Our bodies are made up of millions of genetic building blocks, otherwise known as base pairs, that make up our physical anatomy.
There are about 3 billion genome base pairs that make human beings about 99.9% similar to the other human strangers around us. However, recent research has uncovered the fact that our closest relatives, chimpanzees, are nearly 98.8% similar to humans genetically. In addition to this, cats are about 90% similar and even honey bees share 44% of DNA.
Genetic Similarities Between Animals
While chimpanzees and apes the most genetically similar creatures to us as humans, other organisms also share a huge portion of our DNA. Below, we will go over a few of them.
Human beings share 99.9% of their DNA with all other human beings. This genetic material determines our eye color, our genetic predispositions, and our likelihood to inherit other critical traits. That being said, we also share an unexpected amount of DNA with many other creatures!
Cats, for instance, are more like you and me than anyone would have guessed, say, 100 years ago. Perhaps that explains why some people display such fine feline-like tendencies such as laying out in the sun on a summer day. In 2007, a study found that felines share around 90% of their overall genetic material with homo sapiens. So the next time someone refers to their friend as a “cat person”, they may be more correct than they realize.
We’ve talked about cats, but what about mice? How much DNA could you possibly share with a mouse? Well, the answer is a whopping 85%! That’s more than most people realize, though it does help to explain why lab mice work so well for scientific research.
We’ve all heard the expression “pigging out.” Interestingly enough, human beings also share a huge amount of genetic material with pigs. Almost as much as we do with chimpanzees! The genetic DNA similarity between pigs and human beings is 98%. Interspecies organ transplant activities between humans and pigs have even taken place, called xenotransplants.
If you’ve ever been called a chicken (closest living relatives of Tyrannosaurus rex), chances are that someone in your life is probably just trying to pressure you into jumping into a lake or trying on an ugly sweater. That being said, you may be interested to know that humans and chickens share more than half of their DNA, around 60%.
• Plants and Insects
We also share a shocking amount of DNA with plants and insects. We share around 60% of our DNA with bananas, 50% of our DNA with trees, 70% of with slugs (gross), 44% with honey bees, and even 25% with daffodils.
So there you have it! DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) similarities exist primarily because DNA is an influential chemical building block that makes up a huge portion of the genetic material shared by all living organisms. That being said, when you truly break things down, we are not so different after all! To learn more about DNA composition and inter-species similarities, click here.