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Great ape

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Definition

noun, plural: great apes

Any of the apes belonging to the family Hominidae, such as chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and humans


Supplement

The apes are tailless anthropoid primates of the superfamily Hominoidea. There are two major groups of apes, i.e. the great apes and the lesser apes. The great apes or the hominids include Pongo, Gorilla, Pan, and Homo genera. They belong to the family Hominidae.

The great apes possess the following distinctive features: relatively larger body frame, hairless face, protrusive lips, flat nails, and complex fingertips. The smallest extant great ape is the bonobo whereas the largest extant great ape is the eastern gorilla. The great apes show sexual dimorphism although the degree varies among species. On average, the males are larger and stronger than females. The great apes are quadrupedal, i.e. possessing four feet. Nevertheless, they may use their hands for food gathering. Most of them are omnivorous.


Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Primates
  • Suborder: Haplorhini
  • Superfamily: Hominoidea
  • Family: Hominidae [Gray, 1825]

Other common name(s):

  • hominid

See also: