Who are the great apes?


Apes - Apes ... Wikipedia

HUMAN-SHAPED MONKEYS - representatives of two families of primates Hylobatidae (gibbon, or small apes) and Pongidae (higher, or apes in fact: orangutans, gorillas and chimpanzees). Both groups, along with people, belong to the superfamily ... ... Collier's Encyclopedia

HUMAN-SHAPED MONKEYS - the same as pongidians ... Great Encyclopedic Dictionary

HUMAN-SHAPED MONKEYS - hominoids, anthropoids (Hominoidea, Anthropomorphidae), the narrow-nosed monkey superfamily. It is believed that the origins of the development of Ch. was a parapet from the oligocene of Egypt. In the Miocene numerous. and a variety of fine. o. inhabited Europe, India, Africa. 3rd Family: ... ... Biological Encyclopedic Dictionary

great apes - žmoginės beždžionės statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas šeima apibrėžtis Šeimoje 4 gentys. Kūno masė - 5,300 kg, kūno ilgis - 45 180 cm. atitikmenys: lot. Pongidae angl. anthropoid apes vok. Menschenaffen rus. higher narrow-nosed ... Ž duinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

Apes - the same as pongidae, large apes, a family of narrow-nosed monkeys of the primate detachment, includes three genus: gorilla, orangutan, chimpanzee ... Beginnings of modern science

Apes - (for characteristics, see Narrow-billed monkeys) embrace three living genera: orangutans (Simia), chimpanzees (Troglodytes s. Antropopithecus) and gorillas (Gorilla). Some here also include gibbons (see Narrow-billed monkeys). Orang living on ... ... FA Encyclopedic Dictionary Brockhaus and I.A. Efrona

Apes - or anthropoids (Anthropomorphidae), a group of higher primates. Together with the hominid family make up the superfamily of humanoid primates (Hominoidea). According to the most common system, Ch. include 2 families: Gibbons, or ... ... The Great Soviet Encyclopedia

HUMAN-SHAPED MONKEYS - the same as pongidy ... Natural science. encyclopedic Dictionary

great apes - zool. The family of monkeys, which include gorilla, orangutan, chimpanzee ... A dictionary of many expressions


Great apes are called chimpanzees, pygmy chimpanzees (bonobos), gorillas and orangutans. Like humans, they belong to a large zoological series of primates, or higher animals. Of all the representatives of the animal world by their physique and behavior, they are most similar to people. Many of the hidden features, such as blood groups or the structure of genes, also coincide with ours.

Apes live in the tropics of Africa and Asia. Their species differ in lifestyle and habitat. Chimpanzees, including dwarfs, live in trees and on the ground.

Chimpanzees live in almost all types of African forests, as well as in open savannas, but bonobos can only be found in the tropical rain forests of the Congo Basin. Two subspecies of the gorilla - the western coastal or flat, and the eastern lowland - prefer tropical rainforests of Africa, and the mountain gorilla - forests with a temperate climate. Gorillas are very massive and do not often climb trees, spending almost all the time on the ground. They live in family groups, the number of members of which is constantly changing. Orangutans, on the contrary, are most often singles. They inhabit the wet and swampy forests of the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan, they climb trees perfectly, slowly but deftly move from branch to branch, hanging on their disproportionately long hands reaching to the ankles.

All great apes can at least occasionally stand up on their feet, then their dexterous hands are free. Great apes of all kinds - creatures are very intelligent and more or less often use various objects as tools, which no other animals can do. They have very developed facial expressions, in many respects resembling human.

When the researchers put the mirror in the cage to the gibbon, the unexpected happened. The monkey approached him with interest, saw her reflection and, squealing loudly, ran back to the corner. Then she grabbed a mirror and began to fling it from side to side. There is no doubt: she did not recognize herself and, most likely, thought that some other gibbon intended her to do something bad. Other animals behave in a similar way in this situation.

Only the great apes, facing the mirror, act like sentient beings. This was confirmed by the experience with the orangutanic Sumy. At first she, too, was frightened of her reflection in the mirror. Then she began to make faces, close her eyes, peeping through the slits between her fingers. Standing on her head, she carefully studied the inverted world in the mirror. During the meal, Suma stuck the peel of a tomato on her cheek. When she saw herself in the mirror, she touched the skin with her finger and shook it off. This clearly proved that Suma recognized herself in the mirror, and this is a high intellectual achievement for the animal.

Lemurs and lower monkeys are not able to identify themselves with the reflection in the mirror. Only the great apes can do it (or rather, according to the mind), but they also differ in mental abilities: chimpanzees need an average of one day to begin to recognize themselves, orangutans - 3 days, and gorillas - 5 days. Other experiments also prove the high degree of intelligence of apes.

Once they were shown a treat that was suspended so high between the trees that the monkeys could not just climb in there and get it. Before them also put several cubes of different sizes. The monkeys quickly realized that by placing the cubes on each other, you can build a tower of them, climb up and thus get to the desired food. It should be added that, erecting the tower, the monkeys placed the largest cubes in the base, and the smallest on the top.

They also solve more complex tasks: for example, they open the box with a screwdriver, take out the key from it, open another box for them, and finally find a reward. However, animals are often baffled by researchers, offering specific "monkey" ways of solving problems that a person could not have thought of. For example, instead of building a tower of cubes, some monkey will knock down a treat, throwing a stick at it, or, swinging on a rope, will fly several meters in its reward.

In any case, great apes always think over a problem and find a solution, and sometimes not one. Scientists regard such a course of action as evidence of a sufficiently developed intellect.

People have long dreamed of talking to animals. Therefore, again and again, they tried to teach the caught young apes of speech. But no one has achieved success. Monkeys never managed to say anything, except for certain indistinct words, and, of course, their vocabulary could not be compared with the vocabulary of talking parrots.

In the mouth and the cavity of the pharynx of great apes are missing some sound-forming elements of organs that correspond to the organs of human speech. For this reason, they cannot develop the skills of pronunciation of finely modulated sounds. They express their emotions in different ways (in total, these monkeys emit no more than 30 kinds of sounds): startle or threat - with sharp, piercing cries, passionate desire - with puffing, call for attention - with the sound "uh," discontent with grumbling and joy - scream. The monkey learns about the mood of another animal and learns its skills, watching him. Facial expressions, gestures, posture - these are the means by which great apes convey essential information to each other. That is why researchers have tried to “speak” with monkeys in sign language used by deaf-and-dumb people to communicate with each other. After a short time, the young monkeys learned a whole series of characters, and they could already have real conversations with them.

Professor Allan Gardner, a four-year-old chimpanzee, Washau, speaks deaf-and-dumb: "Please - give - me - a newspaper" Before you execute the order, the monkey replies: "Please - give - me - an apple." That is, she asks for reward in advance, but after that she does exactly what is demanded of her.

A little later, Gardner asks: "Please - give - me - a refrigerator." A challenge impossible even for a very strong monkey. What does washau do? Grinning, she responds with a gesture: “You are strange,” and she does not move.

If you give the monkeys paper, paint and brush, most of them will immediately begin to draw with great enthusiasm. At the same time the monkeys act very carefully. Drawing, they rarely climb over the edge of the sheet, quite skillfully divide the plane of the paper into pieces. There are paintings, quite reminiscent of works of modern abstract art.

Repeatedly, it was possible to exhibit such works at art exhibitions, and no one guessed that the authors were great apes. Specialists-art critics delivered the following verdict to the works of chimpanzees of the Congo: "These compositions are distinguished by an amazing rhythm, they are filled with dynamics and harmony both in form and color."

Apes willingly draw, not demanding for it the usual reward in other experiments. They themselves know whether the picture is completed or not, and categorically refuse to continue the work that they have completed, even if they are persistently asked for it. They seem to insist that the slightest touch spoil the picture. If, at the height of the creative process, to take a brush or paper from the monkeys, they are frankly angry.

Animal behavior researchers believe that monkeys have an aesthetic sense, albeit in embryonic form. Watching the chimpanzees living in the wild, in the rainforest, they saw monkeys sitting on the edge of a clearing during sunset and, captured by this spectacle, peering into the evening glow. In addition, many great apes like to decorate love to hang a vine on their necks.


Although the word “orangutan” is translated from Malay as “forest man”, it has less in common with a person than gorillas and chimpanzees. Orangutans live in Indonesia. The weight of males reaches 135 kg. They are small in size - from 120 to 135 cm. With a massive body, they have short legs, but their arms are incredibly long, 2.5 meters in scope. But their thumbs are so small that it is impossible to capture anything with their help. Therefore, hands for serious matters are not suitable. In this regard, orangutans are inferior to many monkeys. However, they are able to use a stick, a stone and a rope.

Adult male chimpanzees weigh 70–80 kg with growth of 120–150 cm. The bonobos dwarf chimpanzee is half the size. Chimpanzees live in Africa, north of the Congo River, in herds of 30–80 individuals.

Chimpanzees are highly developed monkeys, which is especially evident during intercourse. Upon meeting, they silently bow. After a long separation, friends happily run towards each other, quietly crying out of delight, clapping their hands with approval on their shoulders and back, scratching their heads in difficult situations when they are angry, stomping their feet.