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Next month, apes and humans will have their biggest clash yet in War for the Planet of the Apes. Going by the title of the movie, we can logically guess how this conflict will end, but let's say we didn't have a franchise called Planet of the Apes. If humans and apes were battling in a post-apocalyptic environment, and neither side had advanced weaponry, who would emerge victorious? Well, it looks like Hollywood has it right, because according to a scientific study, the humans would lose to the apes due to their superior strength.
While humanity has artillery on its side in such a theoretical war, if a human and an ape were to fight hand-to-hand, the former wouldn't stand a chance against the latter. It was determined in the 1920s that two apes approximately have approximately the same strength levels as seven college football players, and apes are able to pull four times the weight a normal human can. But there's more to the ape's strength than just their increased muscle mass. According to the study "The Strength of Great Apes and the Speed of Humans" from anthropology and biology professor Alan Walker (via Inverse), a human brain has more grey matter, which means we have more motor neurons and thus don't use as many muscles through the nervous system. Apes, on the other hand, use many more muscles because they have fewer motor neurons.
Of course, all of the above scientific facts apply to the regular apes that are walking around in the real world. We also have to remember that in the Planet of the Apes reboot movies, Caesar was born with the AZ-112 drug in his system, and he later exposed other apes to the gaseous AZ-113. Now on top of their enhanced muscle mass, they also have the same intelligence levels as a human, if not not higher. So yes, things are looking good for the last remnants of the human military in War for the Planet of the Apes. Their weapons given them an advantage from afar, but if they lose them or run out of ammo, they only have their blades and natural strength to rely on. In a fight with an ape, those won't be much use. Plus, as seen in the trailers, apes have gotten their hands on some human weapons, so they can just as easily fire those at their opponents and leave destruction in their wake.
Following the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes will depict the final conflict between the humans and the enhanced apes, and the victor will officially be the dominant species on Earth. On a more personal level, Andy Serkis' Caesar will combat Woody Harrelson's character, The Colonel, who realizes that for humanity to stay on top, they have no choice but to eliminate the apes. There's a scene show in several previews of Caesar leaping at The Colonel to attack him, so if we do see those two going mano a mano, my money's on Caesar...assuming of course that The Colonel doesn't have a trick up his sleeve.
War for the Planet of the Apes hits theaters on July 14.