What is the difference between apes and monkeys? (AP)

What is the difference between apes and monkeys? (AP)

Monkeys live in both purple and green segments, but apes live only in the green.

Monkeys live in both purple and green segments, but apes live only in the green.

Apes have no tails, and have opposable thumbs only on their hands. (R. Bishop)

Apes have no tails, and have opposable thumbs only on their hands. (R. Bishop)

Monkeys almost always have long tails to help them swing through trees. (AP)

Monkeys almost always have long tails to help them swing through trees. (AP)

Apes are usually taller than monkeys. (AP)

Apes are usually taller than monkeys. (AP)

Monkey or Ape?

Posted: November 1, 2017

I hope you don’t ape the way I monkey around.

With language like that, it’s no wonder we have trouble remembering the differences between two suborder groups of primates. Do you know your monkeys from your apes?

God designed both monkeys and apes for life in trees. You can see that in the ways they are alike:

• Forward-facing eyes for good depth perception so they can judge distance between trees

• Flexible arms and legs for moving about and balancing

• Hands that can grasp branches

• Omnivorous—eat fruits, plants, insects, and small creatures

Species

A―Less than two dozen

M―About 260

Body

A―Larger, heavier, broad back and chest

M―Smaller, longer, and narrower chest and shoulders, skeleton is more like cat or dog

Arms and legs

A―Arms longer than legs

M―Arms and legs about same length

Tail

A―No tail

M―Almost all have tails, and new world monkeys have prehensile tails that can be used to grasp and swing

Hands, feet

A―Opposable thumbs on hands and feet

M―Opposable thumbs on hands only

Face

A―Shorter nose

M―Longer nose

Brain

A―Larger, better at some kinds of problem solving

M―Smaller

Vision

A―See in full color

M―Only some see in full color

Move

A―More upright posture, “knuckle walk” by leaning forward onto their hands, and swing from branch to branch

M―Walk on all fours and run along branches

Habitat

A―Live only in Africa and Southern Asia, spend time both on ground and in trees

M―Live in Africa, Asia, and South and Central America, spend almost all their time in trees

Lifespan

A―Up to 60 years

M―Up to 30 years