Acclaimed primatologist Frans de Waal dies at 75: Emory

Primatologist Frans de Waal, whose study of chimpanzees and apes helped reveal the reconciliatory and empathic nature of primates—including humans—has died at age 75, said the university where he worked for decades.

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Apes are animals, members of the biological superfamily Hominoidea, part of the order Primates. Hominoidea contains two families of living (extant) species:

Members of the superfamily are called hominoids (not to be confused with "hominids" or "hominins").

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 for any tailless primate with a humanlike appearance. Thus the Barbary macaque, a kind of monkey, is popularly called the "Barbary ape" to indicate its lack of a tail. Biologists have used the term "ape" to mean a member of the superfamily Hominoidea other than humans, or more recently to mean all members of the superfamily Hominoidea, so that "ape" becomes another word for "hominoid". See also Primate: Historical and modern terminology.

Except for gorillas and humans, hominoids are agile climbers of trees. Their diet is best described as vegetarian or omnivorous, consisting of leaves, nuts, seeds and fruits, including grass seeds, and in most cases other animals, either hunted or scavenged (or farmed in the case of humans), along with anything else available and easily digested. They are native to Africa and Asia, although humans have spread to all parts of the world.

Most nonhuman hominoids ("apes") are rare or endangered. The chief threat to most of the endangered species is loss of tropical rainforest habitat, though some populations are further imperiled by hunting for bushmeat.

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