Wound Healing Rate

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Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
Likely Difference
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Human wounds tend to gape and generally take a long time to heal.  Strong anecdotal evidence indicates that non-human primates heal wounds faster than humans.  For example, it is said that chimpanzees “heal over-night”, both in captivity and in the wild.     The mechanism of this apparent difference is unknown.  Interestingly, mice with a human-like defect in the CMAH gene showed delayed wound repair.


Timing of appearance of the difference in the Hominin Lineage as a defined date or a lineage separation event. The point in time associated with lineage separation events may change in the future as the scientific community agrees upon better time estimates. Lineage separation events are defined in 2017 as:

  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and old world monkeys was 25,000 - 30,000 thousand (25 - 30 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees was 6,000 - 8,000 thousand (6 - 8 million) years ago
  • the emergence of the genus Homo was 2,000 thousand (2 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and neanderthals was 500 thousand years ago
  • the common ancestor of modern humans was 100 - 300 thousand years ago

Definite Appearance: 
100 thousand years ago
Related MOCA Topics
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Topic Certainty
Healing the Sick Speculative
Wound Licking Likely


  1. N-glycolylneuraminic acid deficiency in mice: implications for human biology and evolution., Hedlund, Maria, Tangvoranuntakul Pam, Takematsu Hiromu, Long Jeffrey M., Housley Gary D., Kozutsumi Yasunori, Suzuki Akemi, Wynshaw-Boris Anthony, Ryan Allen F., Gallo Richard L., et al. , Mol Cell Biol, 2007 Jun, Volume 27, Issue 12, p.4340-6, (2007)