Ape Vs. Gorillas

Difference Between Ape and Gorillas

Ape, any of the primates most closely related to man: the chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons. The term is short for “anthropoid ape.” “Ape” also refers to two species of monkeys.

Apes are rather manlike in general appearance. They have well-developed senses of hearing and vision, including color perception. Typically, apes swing from branch to branch hanging by their arms—a mode of progression called brachiation. They also show a tendency to stand erect. The arms are longer than the legs, and the big toe is opposed to the other toes. The coarse hairy coat may range from black to an almost creamy color. The apes’ diet consists of fruits, nuts, buds, and, in some species, some animal food. Apes constitute the family Pongidae.

Gorilla, the largest of all living primates. It is classified, along with orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), chimpanzees (Pan paniscus and P. troglodytes), and human beings (Homo sapiens), as a member of the family Hominidae, in the order Primates, class Mammalia. The large number of individual and gender-based variations among gorillas previously resulted in the recognition of 20 different species or subspecies. All gorillas are now included within 1 species, Gorilla gorilla. The 4 recognized subspecies are G. gorilla gorilla (the western lowland gorilla), G. gorilla graueri (the eastern lowland gorilla), G. gorilla beringei (the mountain gorilla), and G. gorilla diehli (the Cross River gorilla).

Gorillas in the wild do not appear to have a specific breeding season. A female produces one young about every four years, giving birth after a gestation period of 250 to 290 days. Newborns weigh 4 to 5 pounds (1.8 to 2.3 kg) at birth, and at two years of age, they still weigh only about 35 pounds (16 kg). For the first three months of its life, the gorilla infant is entirely helpless and has to be carried in the arms of its mother. After that the youngster rides on the mother’s back. Females reach sexual maturity at about 6 or 7 years of age, although those in the wild usually do not start breeding until age 10. Males attain sexual maturity at about 9 or 10 years of age and start breeding at age 15. Gorillas in the wild appear to have a life span of up to 50 years.


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