If you’ve ever been to a zoo, what was your favourite animal? When I was a young girl, I used to enjoy watching the chimpanzees get up to their usual naughty antics.
Apes are our closest relatives and are made up of the lesser apes (the gibbons) and the great apes such as the chimps, gorillas and orang-utans. They are extremely intelligent, more so than monkeys, seemingly working through problems just like we would. They can make tools, solve puzzles, use sign language and even recognise symbols.
When sitting on the ground, gorillas are able to reach out in any direction to grab vegetation. This is because they have broad chests and their shoulder blades are at the back. Great apes are huge with the orang-utan being the largest tree-dwelling mammal. Gorillas can weigh over 200kg (440lb).
Lesser apes are monogamous (which means they pair up and stay together). They claim their territory in the treetops by way of singing, with the male and female singing different parts.
Of the great apes, only the orang-utan is solitary. A grown male will control a large territory and any females wandering in are automatically his! The other great apes form social groups. A troop of gorillas will typically have between 5-10 individuals comprising an alpha male, the rest being mostly females perhaps with one or two younger males, usually the sons of the dominant male. Chimpanzees live in much larger groups, often made up of anywhere between 50-100 individuals. Whilst there is a social hierarchy and a dominant male, chimp communities are more free-living with individuals able to come and go as they please. Chimps also pass on what they have learned, including customs and technologies. They do this by example rather than genetically.
If you want to find out more about our hairy cousins, then have a read of this enjoyable website from ApeTAG. You will learn so much more than in this blog!
Why not share your favourite animal with us here at Education Quizzes. Just complete the box below and, if we haven’t already written about it, we’ll make sure we do!