Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

What Is the Difference Between Monkey and Apes?

What Is the Difference Between Monkey and Apes?

Before looking at differences, it’s important to know that apes and monkeys are both primates. There are more than 300 species of primates on Earth, including human beings and other apes, monkeys, and prosimians, such as lemurs.

Primates are distinguished by having hands, hand-like feet, and forward-facing eyes. Except for humans, most primates are agile tree-dwellers.

Given that lemurs and humans are both primates, for example, you can see that there are significant differences between the many different types of primates. Most of the differences can be described in terms of physical characteristics and evolutionary development over time.

The quickest and easiest way to tell monkeys and apes apart is by looking for a tail. Apes do not have tails, while most monkeys do. Apes tend to be larger than monkeys, and monkeys tend to have similar skeletal structures and move more like small mammals, such as cats and dogs.

Monkey species include baboons, macaques, marmosets, tamarins, and capuchins. Ape species include humans, gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, gibbons, and bonobos.

In evolutionary and genetic terms, ape species are much closer to humans than monkeys are. In addition to having similar basic body structures, apes are highly intelligent and can exhibit human-like behavior. For example, chimpanzees, which are closest to humans scientifically, can create simple tools and use them effectively.

Although monkeys communicate with each other, gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees possess more advanced language skills. They can’t speak like humans, but they can use sign language and other bodily movements to communicate with humans effectively.

Their communication skills help them develop complex social groups and even exhibit some aspects of culture. Like humans, these apes can think and solve problems in their environments.

Content for this question contributed by Donna Davidson, resident of Oceanside, San Diego County, California, USA