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ape

ape, any primate of the subfamily Hominoidea, with the possible exception of humans. The small apes, the gibbon and the siamang, and the orangutan, one of the great apes, are found in SE Asia. The other great apes, the gorilla and the chimpanzee and closely related bonobo, are found in Africa. The term ape was formerly and incorrectly applied to certain tailless monkeys. Ape and anthropoid ape are now used synonymously, although the common names of certain monkeys still contain the word ape; for example, the N African macaque is called the Barbary ape.

True apes vary in size from the 3–ft (90–cm), 15–lb (6.8–kg) gibbon to the 6–ft (1.8–m), 450–lb (200–kg) gorilla. All apes are forest dwellers and most spend at least some of the time in trees. Except for adult gorillas, they can run along branches on all fours; they are also able to move about by brachiation, or arm-over-arm swinging. Gibbons (including siamangs) are particularly adept at this type of locomotion; the heavier orangutan prefers to grasp a neighboring tree and pull itself across to it. Gorillas and chimpanzees are the most terrestrial of the apes, normally traveling on all fours by leaning on the knuckles of their forelimbs with the fingers of their hands curled under (knuckle-walking); orangutans ball their fingers into fists during the short periods they walk. Most apes are able to walk on two feet for short distances.

The skeleton of an ape is quite similar to that of a human in the structure of the chest and shoulders. Apes have broad, flat chests and arms capable of reaching up and backward from the shoulder; this construction is associated with brachiation. The pelvis, on the other hand, is more like that of a monkey, designed for walking on all fours, hence the use of knuckle-walking for ground locomotion. The arms of an ape are longer than the legs. The hands are similar to human hands, but with fingers and thumb of more equal length; the feet are handlike, grasping structures. Apes have neither tails nor the cheek pouches found in Old World monkeys; gibbons are the only apes that have the buttock callosities found in Old World monkeys. Like other anthropoid primates, the eyes are highly developed, with stereoscopic color vision. The brains of great apes are different from old world monkeys and some structures are reminiscent of the uniquely elaborate features of the human cortex, rendering these primates capable of fairly advanced reasoning. Chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, and gorillas have been observed using objects as tools in the wild.

Estimates of the amount of identical genetic material (DNA) in chimpanzees and humans range from 94.6% to 99.4%. This marked similarity, and additional evidence, have led primatologists to suggest that the taxonomy of the apes should include three groups: hylobatidae (gibbons and siamangs); pongidae (orangutangs); and hominidae (gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans). Apes are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Primates.

See S. Montgomery, Walking with the Great Apes (1991).

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ape

ape before the introduction of monkey, the word for a monkey, and afterwards still sometimes so used, especially in poetic and literary sources, and when the animal is taken as typifying the ability to imitate human behaviour, especially in an absurd or unthinking way.
an ape's an ape, a varlet's a varlet, though they be clad in silk or scarlet whatever the outward show, the essential quality of a person or thing remains unchanged. A varlet was formerly a menial servant, but the word took on the sense of ‘scoundrel’ or ‘rogue’. Scarlet was the colour of the official or ceremonial dress of various dignitaries, including judges. The saying is recorded in English from the mid 16th century, although the Greek writer Lucian, of the 2nd century ad, has ‘an ape is an ape…even if it has gold insignia.’

See also naked ape.

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ape

ape / āp/ • n. a large primate (families Pongidae and Hylobatidae) that lacks a tail, including the gorilla, chimpanzees, orangutan, and gibbons. See also great ape, gibbon. ∎  used in names of macaque monkeys with short tails, e.g., Barbary ape. ∎  (in general use) any monkey. ∎  an unintelligent or clumsy person. • v. [tr.] imitate the behavior or manner of (someone or something), esp. in an absurd or unthinking way. PHRASES: go ape inf. express wild excitement or anger.

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ape

ape A name originally (in medieval times) applied to the Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus) of North Africa (as were the Latin word simia and Greek pithecus) and, by extension, applied to other primates as these were made known in Europe. As long-tailed monkeys (‘tailed apes’, or cercopitheci) became better known, ‘ape’ came to mean primarily ‘tailless ape’, and today commonly denotes a member of the Hominoidea, comprising lesser apes (gibbons) and great apes (orang-utan, gorilla, chimpanzee, and, in some usages, human).

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ape

ape A name originally (in medieval times) applied to the Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus) of N. Africa (as were the Latin simia and Greek pithecus) and, by extension, applied to other primates as these were made known in Europe. As long-tailed monkeys (‘tailed apes’, or cercopitheci) became better known, ‘ape’ came to mean primarily ‘tailless ape’, and today commonly denotes a member of the Hominoidea, comprising lesser apes (gibbons) and great apes (orang-utan, gorilla, chimpanzee, and, in some usages, human).

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ape

ape Term usually applied to the anthropoid apes (primates) that are the closest relatives of humans. There are three great apes – chimpanzee, gorilla and orang-utan – and one lesser, the gibbon. An ape differs from a monkey in being larger, having no visible tail, and in possessing a more complex brain. Two monkeys are also called ‘apes’ – the Barbary ape of n Africa and Gibraltar, and the black ape of Celebes.

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ape

ape OE. apa m., ape fem. = OS. apo (Du. aap), OHG. affo (G. affe), ON. api :- Gmc. *apan-,.
Hence apery XVII, apish XV.

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ape

apeagape, ape, cape, chape, crape, crêpe, drape, escape, gape, grape, jape, misshape, nape, rape, scrape, shape, tape •landscape • seascape • cityscape •skyscape • townscape • snowscape •roofscape • moonscape • broomrape •shipshape • videotape • sellotape •ticker tape

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APE

APE Amalgamated Power Engineering
• automatic photomapping equipment
• Physics available potential energy

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Ape

APE

APE (Heb. קוֹף), animal enumerated among the precious articles that Solomon imported (i Kings 10:22, ii Chron. 9:21). The word kof derives from the Sanskrit kapi, meaning a tailless ape. In rabbinic literature, however, it refers both to the tailed and the tailless species. Mention is made of the fact that they were employed to keep houses free of creeping things (Tosef., bk 8:17), and they were even trained for domestic uses (Tosef., Er. 3:12). The Sifra (51:4), basing itself upon Leviticus 11:27, enumerates it among the animals forbidden to be eaten. In the Mishnah (Kil. 8:5) there is discussion of whether the laws of ritual uncleanness which apply to a human corpse also apply to creatures called adonei ha-sadeh ("the lords of the field") which some scholars have identified with chimpanzees.

bibliography:

Lewysohn, Zool, 64 ff.; F.S. Bodenheimer, Ha-Ḥai be-Arẓot ha-Mikra, 2 (1956), index; J. Feliks, Animal World of the Bible (1962), 49. add. bibliography: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 275.

[Jehuda Feliks]

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