Apes are the closest living relatives to humans; we share about 98% of our DNA with them. They show many instances of intelligence and emotion even though many people think of them as just unthinking animals. Take a look below to find our list of 31 bizarre and weird facts about apes that might change your outlook on them.
1. All apes shares the same four blood types that humans have, A, B, AB, and O. Due to this, in theory, a person could get a blood transfusion from an ape, but more research is required to see if this would be medically possible.
2. Human birth control works on apes. Zoo’s sometimes give birth control to gorillas or chimps in order to prevent incest or breeding, since they don’t have the resources to care for a new offspring.
3. Bonobo chimps mate in a face to face position. Some gorillas and orangutans also do this; however, this isn’t common for any other species, except humans, in the animal kingdom.
4. Because their DNA is so similar to humans, apes can get infections such as a cold, the flu or even pneumonia.
5. Bonobo chimps use sex to dissolve conflicts as opposed to killing. They’re one of the only apes, except humans, that don’t actively kill other apes. Having a big orgy before a feast is also known in their community.
6. Bonobo chimps are commonly observed to engage in oral sex, which is extremely rare in the animal kingdom as sex is usually only used for procreation.
7. Whiles apes appear much hairier than humans, we actually have the same number of hair follicles per square inch. This is due to their much thicker hair follicles.
8. Their arms are much longer than their legs. Because of this, you often see apes walking bent over, as opposed to walking upright.
9. Some orangutans have an arm span of 8 feet, even though they’re only 4 feet tall.
10. Much likes humans, gorillas and chimps have unique fingerprints. The only other animal that has fingerprints is the koala.
11. Like humans, gorillas are pregnant for 9 months, however, newborn offspring only weighs 3 to 4 pounds, as opposed to human newborns, which are around 7 pounds. On the other hand, fully grown male gorillas can weigh up to 500 pounds.
12. Multiple researchers have shown that chimps love watching television on movies. In fact, they get so focused on them that they ignore treats in order to follow the movie.
13. While gorillas appear fat, they’re not actually overweight. They have enlarged intestines, which they need to digest the 40 pounds of food that they eat every day.
14. Apes can’t speak but they have been taught sign language. In fact, when they don’t know the word for an object, they will combine words that they do know to describe it.
15. Apes can’t speak because their larynxes, or voice boxes, are too close to their mouths. A human voice vox is much lower in the neck which allows us to produce speech. However, human babies have their voice boxes close to their mouths as well, which is why they can’t speak right away.
16. Just like human females, female gorillas go through menopause when they get older. While this was observed in captive gorillas, it’s unclear whether menopause happens to gorillas in the wild, since wild gorillas live to be around 35 years old, as opposed to captive gorillas which live to be around 50.
17. Besides leopards who prey on young apes, apes don’t really have any other predators. Their real threat is humans, who tend to destroy their habitat with agricultural projects.
18. Apes learn parenting skills from watching other apes. Researchers have found that if apes don’t have another ape to observe, they will lack many parenting skills for their offspring.
19. Apes have a very slow rate of breeding as the female ape will not have another baby until the one she is currently raising isn’t ready to live on its own. This can take 10 to 15 years.
20. Gorillas don’t need to drink water because they can get the majority of their moisture from their diet and the morning dew.
21. Apart from humans, orangutans will stay with their mothers until they’re teenagers.
22. Like humans, bonobo chimps show empathetic yawning. In fact, they’re more empathetic to strangers, for example, when they see a stranger yawn, they will yawn as well.
23. Adult male orangutans inflate a pouch in their throat to make a deep sound. This sound can be heard from almost a mile away.
24. Gorillas live with others of their kind in a large family called a “harem.”
25. There’s evidence that bonobo apes use sticks as weapons.
26. Apes are known to violently take other rapes and sexually abuse them. Much like humans, some of these apes are treated like prostitutes by the male population.
27. Alpha male orangutans develop large flaps on their jowls that female orangutans are attracted to. Female orangutans prefer a male with well padded cheeks, with the padding of the cheeks being a sign of the male’s rank in the group.
28. The macaques, also known as snow monkeys, live in northern Japan. They have thick coats and use hot springs to keep warm. Their status in the tribe determines who gets to soak and where.
29. The tiny tarsier is an ape with giant eyes, almost as large as its brain, which allows it to see at night.
30. The rhesus macaques have overrun villages in India. They’re known for their mischievous behaviour as they break into homes to steal food and dive off buildings into lakes.
31. The howler monkey has a roar that can reach 90 decibels and can be heard from a mile away.