Difference Between Apes and Humans

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 15, 2023


Difference Between Apes and Humans

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It is widely held that apes and humans shared a common ancestor millions of years ago. Several changes from shared ancestral behavioral features emerged across time. Humans are said to have descended from apes. There are many distinctions between humans and apes, but the most significant difference is the degree or level of intellect. Humans and apes are distinct living species. Because contemporary humans and apes descended from the same ancestor, the two species share several characteristics. The differences, however, are more significant and the product of various evolutionary processes. Humans and apes are members of the same order, Primates, which also include monkeys.

Primates are animals with gripping hands, a big brain, and a high level of learning rather than intrinsic behavior. Arthropods and Prosimians are the two groups; the former comprises humans, apes, and lemurs, while the latter includes lemurs and loris. Whether or not this is commonly recognized, others argue that the distinctions between the two are too large to establish otherwise. Except for gorillas, apes are omnivorous animals that evolved to climb trees.

Humans are classed as Great Apes, a sub-group of primates that includes orangutans and gorillas, among other primates. Even though humans are primates, humans are most closely related to apes in terms of physical appearance. Nature impacted the alterations, which resulted in the full separation of common ancestors, notably apes and humans.

Apes vs Humans

Apes are the closest surviving cousins of humans. Furthermore, because we had similar ancestors millions of years ago, apes and humans have more in common than most other creatures. Scientists have discovered some intellectual similarities between humans and monkeys. Although apes have frequently shown the ability to learn and comprehend, humans appear to have far more complicated minds than apes. Furthermore, the brains of humans and apes differ significantly; the human brain is far more complex and can be split into lobes and hemispheres. The most obvious distinction between apes and humans is their physical appearance. Human is derived from the Latin term for all-knowing. They are often endowed with great mental power and logical reasoning. The discovery of unfamiliar items and reasonings distinguishes humans from other mammals. The ape body is also comparable to the human body. Humans and apes both have opposable thumbs as well as a sophisticated neurological system. Humans, on the other hand, have an organ that apes do not: the appendix. Furthermore, an ape's hair covers the full body, whereas human hair just covers a portion of the body. Human and ape muscles are comparable in that they are both powerful and utilized to lift and push heavy items.

Humans communicate via speaking in diverse languages, and dialects, and, in certain situations, using physical signals to demonstrate thoughts. Apes interact with one another mostly through bodily cues and loud grunting noises. The majority of apes are currently threatened as a result of the human invasion and human sport. Apes also have substantially stronger upper-body strength, which allows them to easily swing between trees. Apes are highly clever creatures, yet they cannot think abstractly and communicate in the way that humans do. As a result, people can communicate and exchange ideas that monkeys cannot.

Difference Between Apes and Humans in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Apes Humans
Interpretation It is a group of near ancestors of humans that are tailless primates. They are the sole living members of the subtribe hominin.
Brow Ridges The majority of apes have significant brow ridges. Human brow ridges are less prominent.
Arms The arms are longer than the legs. The arms are not longer than the legs.
Skin Skin hairs are dense. Skin hairs are thin.
Posture Semi erect Complete erect
Forelimbs longer than the back limbs shorter than the back limbs
Skull Size The human brain is three times larger than the typical ape's brain. The apes' brains are smaller.
Language Humans employ a variety of written languages. Apes do not have written language.

What are Apes?

Gorillas, chimps, bonobos, orangutans, and gibbons are among the Old-World primates known as apes. Apes are bigger than monkeys in general, with longer arms and shorter legs. Apes are also more intelligent than monkeys. Apes are found in Africa and Asia. Gorillas are the biggest apes that reside in Africa's highlands. Chimpanzees are the second biggest apes and reside in Africa's rainforests. Bonobos are the smallest apes that inhabit Africa's Congo Basin. Apes are any tailless ape belonging to the groups Hominidae and Hylobatidae. They may be found in the tropical woods of Southeast Asia, Central and Western Africa, and Madagascar. Orangutans are Asia's only apes, and they dwell in the Indonesian jungles. Gibbons are the smallest and quickest apes, and they inhabit Southeast Asia's woods. They are distinguishable from monkeys by the presence of appendices, the absence of a tail, and their sophisticated brains. Gorillas, bonobos, chimps, and orangutans are examples of great apes. If taught by humans, they can also learn quasi-linguistic communication and abstract reasoning, as well as how to create rudimentary tools. Gibbons and siamangs are examples of lesser apes. They are primarily omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals as their primary source of sustenance. This is not true for some ape subspecies, such as gorillas, who are herbivores, or creatures that eat primarily plants as their primary source of nourishment. They have exceptionally powerful muscles that allow them to carry large items.

Most often, apes have proven the ability to perceive and learn. Apes have a sophisticated neurological system and are extremely smart creatures in many aspects. Apes have hair all over their bodies, which is one of the reasons they are classified as mammals. Apes, unlike humans, cannot speak verbally, yet they can communicate with one another through huge grunting sounds and bodily gestures. Gibbons, who weighs 4-12 kg and live in Asian tropical and subtropical forests, are the smallest apes. Orangutans are mysterious primates found in rainforests. They have disproportionately big bodies and display sexual dimorphism. They are mostly arboreal, although they may wander on land. Chimpanzees are our closest living cousins, with whom we share genetic traits. They may be found in lowland woodland to practically open grasslands across equatorial Africa. Male chimps may weigh up to 68 kg, whereas females are 10 to 15% smaller than males. Because of their small stature, bonobos are sometimes known as pygmy chimps, and they have less sexual dimorphism than other great apes. They are exclusively found in Congo along the Zaire River.

What are Humans?

Humans are mammals because they have hair on their bodies, give birth to live babies and feed their babies. They walk on their bottom limbs and utilize their upper limbs to do various everyday duties. They have powerful arms that allow them to lift hefty items. When compared to other animals, their gripping strength is quite powerful. Humans are distinguished by their huge sophisticated minds and bipedalism. They are the most common and numerous primate species. As a result, sophisticated culture, language, and technologies emerge. Humans often live in a complex social framework with competing and cooperative groups. Homo sapiens is the scientific designation for humans. It is a Latin term that means "all-knowing." Humans have great brain capacity and logical thinking abilities. They can tell the difference between what is good and wrong. What distinguishes humans from other mammals is their thinking and curiosity, which lead to the discovery of previously unknown items. Humans are sexually dimorphic, with men being bigger in size and form than females. They have an upright stance and walk on two legs. Humans are distinguishable from other hominids by their higher brain size, which is around three times that of their nearest surviving cousins, chimps. Humans are the only animals that can employ abstract thinking, language, and symbolic thought.

Humans are also distinguished by their bipedalism; unlike most other primates, humans walk erect on two legs. This frees up the hands for other tasks. Bipedalism may have evolved early in human development as a means of more effectively gathering food and transporting it back to camp, or it may have evolved as an adaptation to the frequent use of tools. Tool usage and culture are two more unique features of humans. Humans are also adaptable to a wide range of temperatures, including extreme heat and cold. Humans, more than any other species, have adapted to practically every ecosystem on Earth. Human social interactions must result in a wide range of rituals, values, and social conventions that benefit human civilization. Humans are capable of communicating, and this is how they interact with one another. Humans have a very complicated neurological system, as well as highly functional cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, and urine systems. Their immune system is capable of fighting a wide range of ailments. The desire and curiosity to affect and comprehend the environment, as well as alter and explain occurrences, has fueled the growth of religion, philosophy, and other branches of knowledge. Human biological variety is influenced by the environment and genes in physiology, mental capacities, visual traits, longevity, illness susceptibility, and physical size.

Main Difference Between Apes and Humans in Points

  • Apes can both drink and breathe at the same time. Humans, on the other hand, are the only creatures that cannot drink and breathe at the same time.
  • Apes use their feet to hold stuff. Humans, on the other hand, lack this capacity to grab items with their feet.
  • Human thinking power is far superior to that of apes.
  • Apes communicate by physical gestures, but humans communicate through languages since they can talk properly.
  • When it comes to mobility, apes use both legs and hands for movement, which is known as quadrupedal locomotion, whereas humans only use two legs, which is known as bipedal locomotion.
  • Apes have opposable hallux or just great toes and can move them, but humans lack lateral mobility due to non-opposable hallux.
  • Human encroachment has resulted in forest depletion, and ape populations are fast declining.
  • Apes are covered in hair and their brains are not as developed as those of humans. Humans and apes, on the other hand, have comparable organ architecture and muscle systems.
  • The size of the brain differs between apes and humans.
  • Humans have a flatter face than apes, which projects forward.
  • Only a small number of apes are capable of creating and deploying basic tools. Humans, on the other hand, can create and use tools of higher complexity.


It is possible that apes and humans shared a common progenitor millions of years ago. Apes are tailless apes that are closely related to humans. They may be found in the tropical woods of Southeast Asia, Central and Western Africa, and Madagascar. Humans, on the other hand, are the only living members of the subtribe hominin. They are the most common and numerous primate species. The differences between apes and humans are considerable, yet research into human evolution is still in its early stages. We've merely scratched the surface of knowing how we descended from primate predecessors. Humans and apes shared common ancestors millions of years ago, and we have common forebears as well. There are considerable differences in our normal ancestral behavioral traits that we can now recognize as a result of evolution. It was mostly influenced by nature, which eventually culminated in the absolute separation of our closest ancestors into two groups: humans and apes. Because our physical structures are nearly comparable to those of apes, apes are our earliest human predecessors. Apes have dense hairs on their skin, but humans have very small hairs on their skin.

Apes' rear limbs are shorter than their forelimbs, but humans' hind limbs are longer than their forelimbs. When it comes to IQ, apes are often less intelligent than humans. Humans are said to be the evolutionary descendants of apes. Humans are omnivorous creatures that dwell in big jungle regions within trees, but they are also mammals that live in cities and towns all over the world.


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"Difference Between Apes and Humans." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 14 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-apes-and-humans-848>.

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