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Did You Know? 17 Incredible Ape Facts

One of the interesting gorilla ape facts is that adult males tend to develop silver backs.

Ape is a group of five distinct types of animals, six if you count humans. The gibbon is one, also called the lesser ape. The great ape group consists of five types of primates, the chimpanzee, the orangutan, the bonobo, the gorilla, and humans. Apes are separated from other types of primates by a better degree of freedom in the shoulder joints which allows them to jump from branch to branch, also called brachiation. Also, none of the apes have any tails. Great apes differ from gibbons or lesser apes in their appearance. Great apes are much bigger and heavier. Primate apes are intelligent and capable of showing really intelligent and smart behavior, forming complex social structures and relationships, communicating through sound and visual cues, showing human-related emotions like affection, deceit, aggression, and empathy. They can also use tools and hunt in a sophisticated manner. Most species and subspecies of apes are Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable, except humans of course.

For more relatable content, check out these cross river gorilla facts and Hamadryas baboon facts for kids.

Ape Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an ape?

The ape is a primate and an Old World simian. It is not an Old World monkey.

What class of animal does an ape belong to?

The ape belongs to the Mammalia class of animals.

How many apes are there in the world?

It is not known exactly how many apes there are in the world, since the branch consists of many species of animals like gibbons, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos. Humans are also considered apes. In fact, they are the type of species from the Hominidae family of apes.

Where does an ape live?

The different types of apes live in different geographic ranges. Gibbon apes are found in Asia, from the eastern parts of Bangladesh to the northeastern parts of India as well as southern China. Borneo, Sumatra, and Java islands of Indonesia have gibbons as well. They are also found in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Malaysia Orangutans are presently only seen in Asia, in Sumatra, and Borneo but were once native throughout the Southeast Asian region.

Gorilla apes are separated into two species by the Congo River in Africa. The western gorilla species is native to the west-central African region and the eastern gorilla is found in the east-central African region. Chimpanzees are found in tropical Africa in countries like Cameroon, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, south Sudan Rwanda, Zambia, and Uganda. Bonobos are solely found on the south side of the Congo River and to the north side of the Kasai River, both in the country of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Human beings are obviously found in every corner of the world.

What is an ape's habitat?

Gibbons or lesser apes live in tropical and subtropical rainforests. Gorilla apes inhabit swamplands and montane forests between elevations of 492-13,210 ft (150-4,026 m). Also, gorillas like nesting in trees.

Chimpanzees live in dry savannahs, montane forests, evergreen rainforests, swamp forests, and dry woodland-savannah mosaics. They also make tree nests. Bonobos like inhabiting humid forests.

Who do apes live with?

Gibbons or lesser apes tend to be monogamous and territorial. Orangutans are mostly solitary but polygynous apes. Gorilla apes tend to follow a single male leader in small groups or troops. Chimpanzees live in much larger groups and bonobos live in families and exhibit promiscuity.

How long does an ape live?

These different apes collectively have a lifespan of 30-60 years.

How do they reproduce?

Apes reproduce by mating and giving birth to live offspring. All the different species and subspecies of apes have females that mature earlier than males. The gestation period is anywhere between six to nine months and breeding takes place all year round. A single offspring is born at a time. Parental care is shown by one or both parents until a juvenile can leave. Some apes are polygynous and some are monogamous. Gorillas are even known to kidnap females to form their own troops.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation statuses of all the various species of apes according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature are either Endangered or Critically Endangered. The eastern hoolock gibbon species is Vulnerable and human beings (Homo sapiens) are of course Least Concern.

Ape Fun Facts

What do apes look like?

Gibbons are smaller than other great apes and they do not show much sexual dimorphism. They come in different colors like light brown, dark brown, black, white, and any shade in between these colors.

Orangutans tend to be larger than gibbons. Their arms are very long and their legs are short. They have reddish-brown hair all over their bodies. Females tend to be smaller than the males like other great apes. Gorillas are the biggest primates and the body coloration can be black to brown-gray. Males are known to get silver saddles on their backs, giving them the name silverback gorillas. The eyes are dark brown.

Chimpanzees have really long arms with short thumbs and their feet have opposable toes. Chimps also have very coarse hair which can be brown, ginger, or black in color. When in oestrus, female chimps form a pink swelling skin. Bonobos have pink lips and black faces. These wild apes also have wide nostrils, small ears, long parting hairs on the head. The overall coloration can be black, gray, or brown.

All apes are tail-less.

The lar gibbon ape has white-colored feet and hands.

How cute are they?

All apes are enormously cute animals. They all have soft darker colored fur, long arms, short legs, and human-like, emotive faces. Gibbons are perhaps the cutest since they are the smallest of the apes. Great apes including gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans are all closely related to humans and as such have the emotive, social, and physical features that humans find cute. They show affection through touching and embracing too. Human beings are considered one of the great apes too.

How do they communicate?

Apes communicate via vocalizations, gestures, and displays. Gibbons sing songs with one another, sometimes to mark territory. Chimpanzees cannot speak, so they utilize hand gestures, facial expressions, postures, and noises. Orangutans use non-verbal communication as well as verbal cues. Gorillas use sounds, expressions, postures, and gestures. Gorillas can utilize 22 different sounds including playful chuckles and terror screams. Bonobos communicate with conspecifics, other apes, and even humans through sound cues and ape hand gestures.

How big is an ape?

An ape can be 15.7-106.3 in (40-270 cm) long and have an arm span of 59-102.4 in (1.5-2.6 m). This makes them 3-15 times bigger than pygmy mouse lemurs.

How fast can an ape move?

The gibbon or lesser ape can move at speeds of 34 mph (55 kph) between trees. Orangutans are slower, going at speeds of 3.7 mph (6 kph). A gorilla dwells mostly on the ground going at 25 mph (40 kph). Chimpanzees and bonobos also move at 25 mph (40 kph).

How much does an ape weigh?

An ape can weigh anywhere between 12.1-683.4 lb (5.5-310 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female apes are not referred to by specific names.

What would you call a baby ape?

A baby ape is called an infant.

What do they eat?

All the ape species are mostly frugivorous and are known to eat fruit, twigs, insects, leaves, bird eggs, flowers, and bamboo shoots.

They themselves are preyed on by leopards, birds of prey, snakes, clouded leopards, wild dogs, eagles, and crocodiles.

Are they active?

Yes, apes are plenty active, establishing territories, building nests, and traveling between trees among other trees.

Would they make a good pet?

Many ape species have been exploited by the pet industry. Most of them are Endangered or Critically Endangered and their habitats are being destroyed, driving them to extinction. Apes should not be taken as pets, experimented on, or kept in captivity. They are in danger of going extinct and should be preserved.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

A human being (Homo sapiens) is considered to be an ape (greater ape).

One of the fun ape facts for kids is that none of them can swim naturally, but they can be taught. Another one of the great ape facts is that they have the same blood characteristics as their relatives, humans.

What are the different types of apes?

The different types of apes are gibbons, orangutans, gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees, and human beings.

How smart are apes?

Apes are extremely smart. They build nests, form complex relationships, communicate using sounds, gestures, and displays. They are capable of tremendous levels of cognition, even utilizing tools, hunting sophisticatedly and they also display emotions like jealousy, deception, empathy, and curiosity.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our Bornean orangutan facts and ring-tailed lemur fun facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Ape coloring pages.

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