What is an Ape?

  • Apes and monkeys are often used interchangeably must to the despair of many primatologists. Apes and monkeys are both part of the Anthropoidea suborder, however they are in separate superfamilies and have several feature that separate them from monkeys
  • White-handed-gibbon-lying-on-branch-with-infant.jpg
  • Main characteristics separating Apes and monkeys
    • Large body size
      • Apes can be split into greater and lesser apes based upon body size
        • Great apes: Orangutans, Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Humans
          • 30 to 100 kg
        • Lesser apes: Gibbons and Siamangs
          • Less than 12 kg
            • ** Some old world monkeys are bigger than gibbons such as certain macaque and baboons
    •   Intelligence
      • Larger brain relative to their body size
      • Mental maps and remembering trees that fruit
        • Frugivore based diet
    • Lack of a tail
    • Shape of ribcage
      • Monkeys have rib cage that is flattened side to side
      • Apes have barrel shaped chests
    • Should blades
      • Monkeys have shoulder blades on the side
      • Apes have should blades on the back
    • Flattened faced/reduced snout
      • Apes use their vision far more than monkeys
    •  Apes
      • Gibbons and Siamangs or the Lesser Apes
        • Adult-white-handed-gibbon-sitting-on-branch-with-infant-on-lap.jpg
        • Ischial tuberosities
        • Live in stable pair bonds and exhibit extra pair copulations
        • Male female pairs duet
      • Orangutans
        • juvenile-southern-bornean-orangutan-p-p-wurmbii- copy.jpg
        • Semi solitary
        • Males have cheek flanges
        • Bimaturism
          • Two morphologically distinct forms
            • Males with flanged cheeks and males without flanged cheeks
      •  Gorillas
        • Western-lowland-gorilla-sitting-in-clearing.jpg
        • Largely vegetarian but will eat ants and termites
        • 1 silverback male per group
          • Groups will have several females and either 1 male or multiple males
      •  Chimpanzees and Bonobos
        • Eastern-chimpanzee-feeding-on-berries-1.jpg
        • Pan
        • Fission fusion social system
        • Females can be dominant in Bonobos, but females cannot be dominant in chimpanzees
        • Male-bonobo-lying-in-day-nest.jpg



One thought on “What is an Ape?

  1. Pingback: Primate of the Week: Orangutans | Primatoloigistinthemaking

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