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Any of the tailless primates known as the lesser apes (gibbons and siamangs; family Hylobatidae) or the great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, and gorillas; family Hominidae). Apes are found in the tropical forests of western and central Africa and South Asia. They are distinguished from monkeys by having no tail, having an appendix, and having a more complex brain. Apes typically move about by swinging or knuckle-walking, though they are capable of standing erect and occasionally walk on two feet. Highly intelligent animals, apes are very closely related to humans, who are also categorized by zoologists as members of Hominidae. As a result of habitat destruction and hunting, all the apes are now regarded as endangered.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on ape, visit Britannica.com.