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Apes vs. Human: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Apes are a group of primates with no tails and complex behaviors, while humans are a unique species of upright, highly intelligent primates capable of complex language and culture.
Apes vs. Human

Key Differences

Apes, including gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans, are tailless primates known for their intelligence and social structures. Humans, classified as Homo sapiens, stand out for their highly developed brains, upright posture, and advanced cognitive abilities, enabling complex language and culture.
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Physically, apes possess strong arms, a robust body, and are mostly arboreal, adept in tree climbing. Humans, in contrast, have weaker arms relative to legs, a bipedal form conducive to long-distance walking and running, and a generally less hairy body.
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In terms of communication, apes use vocalizations, gestures, and facial expressions, displaying notable intelligence and emotional expression. Humans have developed sophisticated languages, both spoken and written, allowing for detailed communication and information transmission across generations.
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Socially, apes live in groups with complex social hierarchies and interactions, showing empathy and cooperation. Human societies are vastly more complex, with diverse cultures, social norms, laws, and institutions governing large communities.
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Apes demonstrate problem-solving skills and can use tools, but their tool use is simpler compared to humans. Humans have advanced technology, creating complex tools and machines, significantly altering their environment and the planet.
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Comparison Chart

Physical Form

Tailless, strong arms, arboreal.
Bipedal, less body hair, weaker arms.
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Intelligence

High intelligence, basic tool use.
Highly advanced cognitive abilities.
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Communication

Vocalizations, gestures, expressions.
Complex languages, written and spoken.
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Social Structure

Live in groups, simple social hierarchies.
Complex societies, diverse cultures.
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Technology Use

Basic tool use, problem-solving.
Advanced technology, environmental impact.
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Apes and Human Definitions

Apes

Tailless Primates
Apes, unlike monkeys, lack tails.
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Human

Advanced Communicators
Humans use complex languages for communication.
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Apes

Social Animals
In the wild, apes live in close-knit social groups.
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Human

Environmental Modifiers
Humans have significantly altered their environment.
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Apes

Tool Users
Apes have been observed using sticks to retrieve termites.
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Human

Bipedal Primates
Humans walk upright on two legs.
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Apes

Intelligent Mammals
Apes are known for their problem-solving abilities.
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Human

Tool Makers
Humans create a wide range of tools and technologies.
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Apes

Any of various tailless Old World primates of the superfamily Hominoidea, including the gibbons, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans.
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Human

A member of the primate genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other apes by a large brain and the capacity for speech.
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Apes

Any of various members of this superfamily bearing fur and usually living in the wild, especially orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees, in contrast to humans. Not in scientific use.
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Oct 19, 2023

Human

A person
The extraordinary humans who explored Antarctica.
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Apes

A tailed primate such as a monkey. Not in scientific use.
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Human

Of, relating to, or characteristic of humans
The course of human events.
The human race.
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Apes

A mimic or imitator.
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Human

Having or showing those positive aspects of nature and character regarded as distinguishing humans from other animals
An act of human kindness.
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Apes

(Informal) A clumsy or boorish person.
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Human

Subject to or indicative of the weaknesses, imperfections, and fragility associated with humans
A mistake that shows he's only human.
Human frailty.
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Apes

To imitate or mimic, especially in a thoughtless or inept way.
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Human

Having the form of a human.
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Apes

Plural of ape
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Human

Made up of humans
Formed a human bridge across the ice.
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Apes

Infl of ape
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Human

(notcomp) Of or belonging to the species Homo sapiens or its closest relatives.
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Apes

Arboreal Creatures
Many apes spend a significant time in trees.
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Human

(comparable) Having the nature or attributes of a human being.
To err is human; to forgive, divine.
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Human

(narrowly) The tallest, most abundant and most intelligent of primates; Homo sapiens.
Humans share common ancestors with other apes.
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Human

(broadly) Any hominid of the genus Homo.
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Human

(rare) To behave as or become, or to cause to behave as or become, a human.
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Human

Belonging to man or mankind; having the qualities or attributes of a man; of or pertaining to man or to the race of man; as, a human voice; human shape; human nature; human sacrifices.
To err is human; to forgive, divine.
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Human

A human being.
Sprung of humans that inhabit earth.
We humans often find ourselves in strange position.
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Human

A human being;
There was too much for one person to do
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Human

Any living or extinct member of the family Hominidae
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Human

Characteristic of humanity;
Human nature
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Human

Relating to a person;
The experiment was conducted on 6 monkeys and 2 human subjects
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Human

Having human form or attributes as opposed to those of animals or divine beings;
Human beings
The human body
Human kindness
Human frailty
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Human

Cultural Beings
Every human society has its own unique culture.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What differentiates apes from other primates?

Apes are large, tailless primates with advanced cognitive abilities.
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How do human societies differ from ape groups?

Human societies are more complex, with intricate social structures and cultures.
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Do apes use tools?

Yes, apes can use basic tools, but their tool use is not as advanced as in humans.
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What is the habitat of most apes?

Many apes live in tropical forests, although their habitats can vary.
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How has human evolution differed from apes?

Human evolution is marked by significant brain development and cultural evolution.
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What are the unique traits of humans?

Humans are known for their bipedalism, advanced language, and culture.
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Are apes capable of learning human languages?

Apes can learn sign language to an extent, but they don't grasp complex human language.
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What is the social structure of apes?

Apes have complex social structures with defined hierarchies and roles.
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Can apes show emotions?

Yes, apes display a range of emotions similar to humans.
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How do humans adapt to different environments?

Humans adapt using technology, culture, and social organization.
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Can apes communicate like humans?

Apes communicate using gestures and sounds, but not with complex language like humans.
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What role does language play in human life?

Language is crucial for human communication, learning, and cultural transmission.
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What is the lifespan of apes compared to humans?

Apes have shorter lifespans than humans, typically living up to 40-50 years.
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How have humans impacted the natural world?

Humans have significantly altered environments and ecosystems worldwide.
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Do apes live in family units?

Some apes live in family groups, with close maternal bonds.
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Can humans learn from studying apes?

Yes, studying apes helps understand human evolution and behavior.
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What are the dietary habits of humans?

Humans have diverse diets, ranging from plant-based to omnivorous.
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How do apes and humans interact in the wild?

Direct interactions are rare, but humans impact apes through habitat changes.
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Are apes endangered?

Many ape species are endangered due to habitat loss and poaching.
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How have humans evolved over time?

Humans have evolved to have larger brains, complex societies, and diverse cultures.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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