ape

(redirected from apes)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms.

ape,

any primateprimate,
member of the mammalian order Primates, which includes humans, apes, monkeys, and prosimians, or lower primates. The group can be traced to the late Cretaceous period, where members were forest dwellers.
..... Click the link for more information.
 of the superfamily Hominoidea, which includes humans; this article, however, focuses on the nonhuman apes. The small apes, the gibbonsgibbon,
small ape, family Hylobatidae, found in the forests of SE Asia. The gibbons are known as the small, or lesser, apes; they are the most highly adapted of the apes to arboreal life. They are highly endangered because of habitat destruction.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and the siamang, and the orangutansorangutan
, an ape of the genus Pongo, found in rain forests of Borneo and Sumatra. Highly specialized for arboreal life, orangutans usually travel by grasping branches with hands and feet and moving from tree to tree. Adult males are about 4 1-2 ft (1.
..... Click the link for more information.
, which belong to the great apes, are found in SE Asia. The other great apes, the gorillasgorilla,
an ape, genus Gorilla, native to the lowland and mountain forests of western and central equatorial Africa. The two gorilla species are the western, comprising the western lowland (G. gorilla gorilla) and Cross River (G.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and the chimpanzeechimpanzee,
an ape, genus Pan, of the equatorial forests of central and W Africa. The common chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, lives N of the Congo River. Full-grown animals of this species are up to 5 ft (1.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and closely related bonobobonobo,
smaller of two species of chimpanzee, genus Pan. Whereas the common chimpanzee, P. troglodytes, lives in forests across most of equatorial Africa, the bonobo, P.
..... Click the link for more information.
 are found in Africa. The term ape was formerly and incorrectly applied to certain tailless monkeys. Ape and anthropoid ape are now used synonymously, although the common names of certain monkeys still contain the word ape; for example, the N African macaque is called the Barbary ape.

True apes vary in size from the 3–ft (90–cm), 15–lb (6.8–kg) gibbon to the 6–ft (1.8–m), 450–lb (200–kg) gorilla. All apes are forest dwellers and most spend at least some of the time in trees. Except for adult gorillas, they can run along branches on all fours; they are also able to move about by brachiation, or arm-over-arm swinging. Gibbons (including siamangs) are particularly adept at this type of locomotion; the heavier orangutans prefer to grasp a neighboring tree and pull itself across to it. Gorillas and chimpanzees are the most terrestrial of the apes, normally traveling on all fours by leaning on the knuckles of their forelimbs with the fingers of their hands curled under (knuckle-walking); orangutans ball their fingers into fists during the short periods they walk. Most apes are able to walk on two feet for short distances.

The skeleton of an ape is quite similar to that of a human in the structure of the chest and shoulders. Apes have broad, flat chests and arms capable of reaching up and backward from the shoulder; this construction is associated with brachiation. The pelvis, on the other hand, is more like that of a monkey, designed for walking on all fours, hence the use of knuckle-walking for ground locomotion. The arms of an ape are longer than the legs. The hands are similar to human hands, but with fingers and thumb of more equal length; the feet are handlike, grasping structures. Apes have neither tails nor the cheek pouches found in Old World monkeys; gibbons are the only apes that have the buttock callosities found in Old World monkeys. Like other anthropoid primates, the eyes are highly developed, with stereoscopic color vision. The brains of great apes are different from Old World monkeys and some structures are reminiscent of the uniquely elaborate features of the human cortex, rendering these primates capable of fairly advanced reasoning. Chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, and gorillas have been observed using objects as tools in the wild.

Estimates of the amount of identical genetic material (DNA) in chimpanzees and humans range from 94.6% to 99.4%. This marked similarity, and additional evidence, have led primatologists to suggest that the taxonomy of the apes should include two families: Hylobatidae (gibbons and siamangs) and Hominidae (orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees and humans). Apes are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information.
, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Primates.

Bibliography

See S. Montgomery, Walking with the Great Apes (1991).

Ape

 

a city in Aluksne Raion, Latvian SSR, located 177 km northeast of Riga, near the border of the Estonian SSR. Ape has a railroad station on the narrow-gauge Valga-Gulbene line. Population, 2,600 (1968). Industry consists of woodworking and food-processing. Ape arose in the second half of the 19th century and received the status of a city in 1928.

What does it mean when you dream about an ape?

As our closest animal relatives, apes can represent the natural, instinctual wisdom that most of us have lost, particularly if the dream animal is a gray-haired ape. We also sometimes associate simians (especially chimpanzees) with humor, and with the “chained up” animal self inside (e.g., King Kong). “Ape” can also mean to mimic.

ape

[āp]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of the tailless primates of the families Hylobatidae and Pongidae in the same superfamily as humans.

ape

1. any of various primates, esp those of the family Pongidae (see anthropoid ape), in which the tail is very short or absent
2. any monkey

APE

(audio, compression)
A lossless audio compression algorithm from MonkeysAudio.

apE

(graphics)
A graphics package from the Ohio Supercomputer Centre.

APE

The file extension of a Monkey's Audio music file. See Monkey's Audio.
References in classic literature ?
His first need, he realized, was for weapons of offence and defence, for his encounter with the apes, and the distant notes of the savage voices of Numa the lion, and Sheeta, the panther, warned him that his was to be no life of indolent ease and security.
Yet even with that burden he fell into the little habits and manners of his early life that were in reality more a part of him than the thin veneer of civilization that the past three years of his association with the white men of the outer world had spread lightly over him--a veneer that only hid the crudities of the beast that Tarzan of the Apes had been.
Had Tarzan backed off, growling, the young bull would quite probably have been satisfied, but always after Tarzan's station among his fellow apes would have been beneath that of the bull which had made him step aside.
Then Tarzan released his hold and arose--he did not wish to kill, only to teach the young ape, and others who might be watching, that Tarzan of the Apes was still master.
But Sheeta was handicapped by such a rope, and as he leaped once again after Tarzan of the Apes the rope encircled the small bush, became tangled in it and brought the panther to a sudden stop.
He saw them before they saw him, for of all the jungle creatures, none passed more quietly than Tarzan of the Apes.
Master Pedro refused to take the money, saying, "I will not receive payment in advance or until the service has been first rendered;" and then with his right hand he gave a couple of slaps on his left shoulder, and with one spring the ape perched himself upon it, and putting his mouth to his master's ear began chattering his teeth rapidly; and having kept this up as long as one would be saying a credo, with another spring he brought himself to the ground, and the same instant Master Pedro ran in great haste and fell upon his knees before Don Quixote, and embracing his legs exclaimed, "These legs do I embrace as I would embrace the two pillars of Hercules, O illustrious reviver of knight-errantry, so long consigned to oblivion
If I had money," said the page, "I would ask senor ape what will happen me in the peregrination I am making.
Zu-tag will go," replied the younger bull, "and he will take the Tarmangani's she and all the bulls of Go-lat who are not cowards," and so saying he cast his eyes inquiringly about at the other apes.
If she had been terrified before she was almost paralyzed with fear now as she saw Zu-tag and his apes turn toward the boma and approach her.
Thus Tarzan of the Apes left them filled with terror at this new manifestation of the presence of some unseen and unearthly evil power which lurked in the forest about their village.
I won't let you kill him," he concluded, as his half-wrecked mentality pictured anew the pleasure that money would buy in London--money that he could not hope to possess without some such windfall as the ape represented.