Apes are large primates with out tails. Some of the major apes include the gorilla, chimpanzees, orangutan, and gibbons.


Orangutans are found in the tropical rain forests of the islands of Sumatra (in Indonesia) and Borneo (in Malaysia and Indonesia).

Orangutans are tree dwelling primates in the world reaching heights of four to five feet and weights of 125 to 235 pounds or more. They are reddish-brown in color and some males grow white or yellow beards. Also characteristic are their bare faces with round eyes and small ears; their long, shaggy hair; long arms; and curled fingers and feet.

Males Orangutans are much larger than females and develop large pads on their cheeks called “flanges” and large throat pouches and insects among others.

Characteristics of Orangutans

Adult males lead mostly solitary lives (except when consorting with females).

Females associate with their infant and juvenile offspring and occasionally an adult sister or mother for short periods of time.

Males communicate by the "long call" for territorial and courting purposes.

They spend most of their time in trees, building nests at night, swinging through the trees, and eating in the trees.

The lighter weight an orangutan is the more active. As they grow older and heavier, they become slower and more cautious, testing each branch before putting their full weight on it.

They rarely descend from treetops to ground; when they do, they usually walk on all fours.

Orangutans’ arms are stronger and longer than their legs.

Their reach from fingertip to fingertip can be as long as eight feet.

They pucker up their lips to feel the texture of a piece of fruit or food before they bite into it. .

While they are primarily herbivorous and love jungle fruits like durian, jackfruit, and lychee nuts, orangutans have been observed in the wild catching and eating a small animal called a slow loris.

Females only give birth every seven to nine years, and their gestation period is about nine months just like human beings.

Infants are nursed by their mothers for four to five years and stay in their mother’s nest for about seven to eight years.

Females raise their infants alone with out the help of male

Orangutan’s life expectancy is 40 years in their natural wild and over 50 years in captivity.


Gorillas are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes found in the forests of central Africa.  Gorillas share almost 95–99% DNA with human beings. Gorillas natural habitats cover tropical or subtropical forests in Africa. Although their range covers a small percentage of Africa, gorillas cover a wide range of elevations. The mountain gorilla inhabits the Albertine Rift montane cloud forests of the Virunga Volcanoes, ranging in altitude from 2,200–4,300 metres (7,200–14,100 ft). Lowland gorillas live in dense forests and lowland swamps and marshes as low as sea level, with western lowland gorillas living in Central West African countries and eastern lowland gorillas living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo near its border with Rwanda.

Characteristic of Gorillas:

They feed on fruits, leaves, stems and some times on insects

Gorillas form troops headed by male silver back

Gorillas build new nests every day

The females take care of their young ones up 4 to 5 years of age.

The male leave the troop after 6 years to form their own groups or join groups after defeating the weak silver backs.


Our closest relatives sharing 94% DNA with humans. Sociable, communicative and intelligent, one of the chimp’s most astonishing traits is its ability to use tools like stick, stones and so on.  It’s noted that the skills passed from generation. Like other primates, chimps live in groups of 10 to 100 members. In Africa, Nyungwe National Park is famous for hosting over 12 primate species including chimpanzees, Mona monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, Colobus monkeys and above all Chimpanzees.

Characteristic of Chimps:

Chimpanzees spend much of their day and night time climbing in trees, and they sleep alone every night in nests that they make with branches and leaves. Chimp mothers sleeps with their off springs until next baby is born.

Chimpanzees stay up to 40-45 years and over 50 to 60 years in captivity– chimps are among the long living primates on earth.

Chimpanzees move in groups between 15 and 120 individuals.

Male chimpanzees leave the community where they were born when they reach the stage of adulthood.

Female chimps also migrate to a new community during an adolescent estrus period. They try to look for males to mate them.

Like human beings Chimpanzees are capable of moving on two legs.

The elder Chimpanzees groom young ones to prepare them for future challenges. The female chimps train their babies to jump, climb, scoop nuts among others.

Chimpanzee mothers tend to move alone with their offspring. They separate from male groups to cater for the babies.

Every night, the chimps build new nests to sleep in.

Chimpanzee males lead groups in hunting for meat.


Bonobos live in fission-fusion social groups where a large community of individuals separate into smaller groups, or parties, of variable size and composition.The bonobo is distinguished by relatively long legs, pink lips, dark face and tail-tuft through adulthood, and parted long hair on its head.Along with the common chimpanzee, the bonobo is the closest extant relative to humans.

Characteristics of Bonobos:

Bonobos, times of maximum genital swellings last about 13.4 days

Bonobos are sexually receptive for a large portion of their reproductive cycle, even when not near the time for ovulation.

Bonobos also engage in sex in non-swelling phases of their cycle in about 1 out of 3 copulations.

Bonobo females may be found with in mixed-sex parties, regardless of the condition of their genital swelling.