Related topics: chimpanzees

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Ape

Hylobatidae Hominidae †Proconsulidae †Dryopithecidae †Oreopithecidae †Pliopithecidae

An ape is any member of the Hominoidea superfamily of primates. In less scientific language, it has various meanings, although it often (but not always) excludes humans. Due to its ambiguous nature, the term 'ape' is less suitable as a means of describing taxonomic relationships.

Under the current classification system there are two families of hominoids:

A few other primates, such as the Barbary Ape, have the word "ape" in their common names (usually to indicate lack of a tail), but they are not regarded as true apes.

Except for gorillas and humans, all true apes are agile climbers of trees. They are best described as omnivorous, their diet consisting of fruit, grass seeds, and in most cases some quantities of meat and invertebrates—either hunted or scavenged—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. A group of apes is called a "shrewdness".

Most ape species 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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