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The Apes

  • By
  • November 4, 2014
  • 1782 Words
  • Course: BIO()(
  • Professor: Smith
  • School: SJHAM
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For other uses, see Ape (disambiguation).
For an explanation of very similar terms, see Hominidae.
Hominoids or Apes
Temporal range: Late Oligocene–Holocene
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Orang Utan, Semenggok Forest Reserve, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia.JPG Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Primates
Suborder:Haplorrhini
Infraorder:Simiiformes
Parvorder:Catarrhini
Superfamily:Hominoidea
Gray, 1825
Type species
Homo sapiens
Linnaeus, 1758
Families
†Proconsulidae
†Afropithecidae
Hylobatidae
Hominidae

Apes (Hominoidea) are a branch of Old World tailless anthropoid catarrhine primates native to Africa and Southeast Asia and distinguished by a wide degree of freedom at the shoulder joint indicating the influence of brachiation. There are two main branches: the gibbons, or lesser apes; and the hominids or great apes.

Lesser apes (Hylobatidae) include four genera and sixteen species of gibbon, including the lar gibbon, and the siamang, all native to Asia. They are highly arboreal and bipedal on the ground. They have lighter bodies and smaller social groups than great apes. The Hominidae include orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and humans.[1][2] Alternatively, the family are collectively described as the great apes.[3][4][5][6] There are two extant species in the orangutan genus (Pongo), two species in the gorilla genus, and a single extant species Homo sapiens in the human genus (Homo). Chimpanzees and bonobos are closely related to each other and they represent the two species in the genus Pan. Members of the superfamily are called hominoids (not to be confused with the family of "hominids" - great apes, the subfamily of hominines, the tribe of "hominins" aka the human clade, or the subtribe of hominans).

Some or all hominoids are also called "apes". However, the term "ape" is used in several different senses. It has been used as a synonym for "monkey" or...