Apes

In a study of great apes' playful antics, chimpanzees seemed to enjoy slapping adults, especially those that were dozing off.

Great Apes Love to Tease, Poke and Pester, Suggesting the Urge to Annoy Is Millions of Years Old

The desire to get a rise out of others is a 13-million-year-old trait humans and great apes share with a common ancestor, new research suggests

An artist's impression of Gigantopithecus blacki near a forest in southern China.

What Caused the Mysterious Extinction of 'Giganto,' the World's Largest Ape?

The massive primates were unable to shift their diet to keep pace with a changing climate, according to a new study, forcing them to eat less nutritious bark and twigs

Chimpanzees and bonobos may have the longest social memory of any non-human animal.

Chimpanzees and Bonobos May Remember Faces for More Than 20 Years

The great apes, which are humans' closest living relatives, appeared to recognize photos of their former acquaintances in a study, even decades later

Bonobos from different social groups will groom each other and share food.

Like Humans, Some Bonobos Cooperate With Outsiders

We might not be the only primates to display helpful behavior toward members of a different social group, a new study suggests

Female chimps at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, in 2005. The new study followed 185 chimps in Uganda's Kibale National Park for 21 years.

Wild Female Chimpanzees Go Through Menopause, Study Finds

Until now, menopause had not been documented in wild, non-human animals, except for a few species of toothed whales

A mountain gorilla seemingly enjoys a moment of solitude in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, surrounded by orange, yellow and green leaves.

Celebrate World Gorilla Day With 15 Primate Pictures

These highlights from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest feature our close “cousins”

The new research sequenced the genomes of more than 230 primate species, 58 percent of which are threatened with extinction.

What the Largest-Ever Study of Primate DNA Reveals About Ourselves

The findings cover not only conservation and primate evolution, but also human health and diseases

The new baby western lowland gorilla, which was born on May 27.

See the Endangered Gorilla Born at the National Zoo

The baby western lowland gorilla is the zoo's first since 2018

In an open woodland, Morotopithecus bishopi climbs a tree with an infant on its back and a juvenile below.

Early Apes Lived on Savannas, Not in Forests

Two new studies suggest that 21 million years ago African primates frequented edge habitat and fed on leaves

In a recent study, researchers examined 40 videos of great apes spinning on ropes and calculated their average rotational velocity.

Great Apes Love to Spin Around—Here's Why

A recent study suggests that apes, like humans, seek out altered mental states

A high-ranking adult male chimpanzee rests in the dry and open woodland vegetation that dominates the Issa Valley savanna-mosaic habitat.

Human Ancestors May Have Evolved to Walk Upright in Trees

Research on wild chimpanzees suggests searching for food in tree branches drove bipedalism

César, one of the kidnapped chimpanzees

Three Baby Chimpanzees Kidnapped and Held for Ransom

The abductors are demanding a six-figure sum to return the animals to their sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

By studying the throats of 43 primate species, researchers found they all had vocal membranes that destabilized their voices. Humans, on the other hand, do not.

The Evolutionary Trait That May Have Led to Human Speech

“Vocal membranes” in primates make their speech grating and unpredictable, study suggests. Humans have no such thing

Captive gorillas make a novel sound that's a cross between a sneeze and a cough when zookeepers are nearby with food.

Gorillas Make a New ‘Snough’ Noise to Grab Their Keepers’ Attention

Researchers have never observed gorillas making the unusual sound in the wild, suggesting that captive gorillas can learn to make new noises

Well digging behaviors have been observed previously in areas with dry habitats, and researchers only know of three chimpanzee groups in the savannah that do so.

Rainforest Chimpanzees Seen Digging Wells for the First Time

The primates may be burrowing for cleaner water

Over the span of 15 months, scientists cataloged 76 instances of chimps using insects on their wounds and the wounds of others. 

Chimpanzees Appear to Use Insects to Treat Their Wounds

In a first, chimps in Gabon were seen applying insects to sores on themselves—and others, a possible show of empathy

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for captive apes.

How Do Gorillas Get Heart Disease? And More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

Before engaging in social behaviors like grooming, bonobos (pictured) employed a "hello" greeting during 90 percent of observed interactions and bid their peers farewell 92 percent  of the time.

Bonobos and Chimps Appear to Have 'Hello' and 'Goodbye' Greetings

Like humans, these apes share salutations to start and end interactions

A young puppy responds to a human pointing to a treat during an experiment conducted by scientists at the University of Arizona.

Puppies Are Born Ready to Communicate With Humans

A new study finds very young dogs with little human contact can understand pointing gestures—and that the ability has a strong genetic basis

Previous research has shown that a gorilla's larger body size is linked to reproductive success and social rank. The chest-beating could be another way for the gorillas to convey their size to others and, in turn, avoid fights that could result in serious injury or death.

Gorillas Beat Their Chests to Communicate With Each Other

The larger male apes have lower frequencies in their pounds and may use chest-beating to signal their social status, strength, and size to others

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