This article is primarily about the gorilla but also includes the other members of the Hominoidea superfamily that are related to humans as shown by the classification guide beneath:
Phylogeny of superfamily Hominoidea
————————————– Humans [genus Homo]
—————————— Chimpanzees [genus Pan]
———————- Gorillas [genus Gorilla]
————— Orangutans [genus Pongo]
——- Gibbons [family Hylobatidae]
The featured image in this entry is my caricatured illustration of a fictional* gorilla and originally named so, but who I mostly refer to now as Gorilloid or Gor, and sometimes alternatively as Gor Delpus or Gor Blimey.
Directly beneath the featured image I have set a slideshow listed as follows:
Gor – Pink on Pale Blue
Gor – Pale Green on Pink
Gor – Lilac Tint on Lime
Gor – Turquoise Blue on Yellow
Distribution of Gorillas
Gorilla gorilla, West Africa
Chimpanzee, Pan Trolodytes
Man of the Woods [Orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus]
Singing Simian [Gibbon, Hylobates lar]
Although stronger even than chimpanzees, which have about five times the strength of humans, gorillas, being vegetarians and more sedentary; are generally more peaceful and gentlemanly than the chimpanzees.
Chimpanzees in the wild, which are omnivorous and very opportunistic and imbued with almost endless curiosity, tend to be more aggressive and confrontational than gorillas and are therefore more of a danger and should be handled with the utmost caution.
Although, having said that, I’ve seen television programmes where David Attenborough not only had a happy, smiling congenial photo-shoot with a gorilla family and its cuddly infant; but also a very tranquil interlude where he and a chimp are sitting next to each other in a quite chummy way. You can almost see them empathically contemplating the serenity and natural beauty of their surroundings together. Most likely, Sir David offered the chimp a banana. There are no flies on him – only the ones he chooses to study.
The original image depicted here was created in 1972. Displayed with it, is a slideshow of variations on the theme but also portraying real life gorillas in photographic portrayal together with other members of the primate superfamily including Chimpanzees, Orangutans, Gibbons and their larger Siamang cousins – and even a dancing lemur . I have also provided some biological, environmental and evolutionary information on the hominoid and anthropoid families.
Dave Draper 2014
Gorillas constitute the eponymous genus Gorilla, the largest extant genus of primates by physical size. They are ground dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa. The genus is divided into two species: the eastern gorillas and the western gorillas, and either four or five subspecies. The DNA of gorillas is highly similar to that of a human, from 95–99% depending on what is counted, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the chimpanzees [including bonobos].
Gorillas’ natural habitats cover tropical or subtropical forests in Africa. Although their range covers a small percentage of Africa, gorillas cover a wide range of elevations. The mountain gorilla inhabits the Albertine Rift montane cloud forests of the Virunga Volcanoes, ranging in altitude from 7,200–14,100 ft [2,200–4,300 m] Lowland gorillas live in dense forests and lowland swamps and marshes as low as sea level, with western lowland gorillas living in Central West African countries and eastern lowland gorillas living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo near its border with Rwanda.
The American physician and missionary Thomas Staughton Savage and naturalist Jeffries Wyman first described the western gorilla [they called it Troglodytes gorilla] in 1847 from specimens obtained in Liberia. The name was derived from Greek Γόριλλαι [Gorillai], meaning “tribe of hairy women”, described by Hanno the Navigator, a Carthaginian navigator and possible visitor [circa 480 BC] to the area that later became Sierra Leone.
Evolution and classification
The closest relatives of gorillas are chimpanzees and humans, all of the Homininae having diverged from a common ancestor about 7 million years ago. Human gene sequences differ only 1.6% on average from the sequences of corresponding gorilla genes, but there is further difference in how many copies each gene has. Until recently, gorillas were considered to be a single species, with three subspecies: the western lowland gorilla, the eastern lowland gorilla and the mountain gorilla. There is now agreement that there are two species with two subspecies each. More recently, a third subspecies has been claimed to exist in one of the species. The separate species and subspecies developed from a single type of gorilla during the Ice Age, when their forest habitats shrank and became isolated from each other.
Primatologists continue to explore the relationships between various gorilla populations. The species and subspecies listed here are the ones upon which most scientists agree.
Taxonomy of genus Gorilla
Western gorilla [G. gorilla]
Western lowland gorilla [G. g. gorilla]
Cross River gorilla [G. g. diehli]
Eastern gorilla [G. beringei]
Mountain gorilla [G. b. beringei]
Eastern lowland gorilla [G. b. graueri]
Gorilla – From wikipedia the free encyclopedia
Chimpanzees, sometimes colloquially chimps, are two extant hominid species of apes in the genus Pan. The Congo River divides the native habitats of the two species:
Common chimpanzee: Pan troglodytes [West and Central Africa]
Bonobo: Pan paniscus [forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo]
Chimpanzees are members of the family Hominidae, along with gorillas, humans, and orangutans. Chimpanzees split from the human branch of the family about four to six million years ago. Chimpanzees are the closest living relatives to humans, being members of the tribe Hominini [along with extinct species of subtribe Hominina].
Chimpanzees are the only known members of the subtribe Panina. The two Pan [Chimp] species split only about one million years ago.
The genus Pan is part of the subfamily Homininae, to which humans also belong. These two species are the closest living evolutionary relatives to humans, sharing a common ancestor with humans about four to six million years ago. Research by Mary-Claire King in 1973 found 99% identical DNA between human beings and chimpanzees, although research since has modified that finding to about 94% commonality, with some of the difference occurring in noncoding DNA. P. troglodytes and P. paniscus have been proposed to belong with H. sapiens in the genus Homo, rather than in Pan; e.g., by J. Diamond in his book, wherein he refers to man as The Third Chimpanzee. Among the arguments in favour of this reclassification is that other species have been reclassified to belong to the same genus because of less genetic similarity than that between humans and chimpanzees.
Common chimpanzee [P. troglodytes]
Central chimpanzee [P. t. troglodytes
Western chimpanzee [P. t. verus]
Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee [P. t. ellioti]
Eastern chimpanzee [P. t. schweinfurthii]
Bonobo [P. paniscus]
Though many human fossils have been found, chimpanzee fossils were not described until 2005. Existing chimpanzee populations in West and Central Africa are separate from the major human fossil sites in East Africa; however, chimpanzee fossils have been reported from Kenya, indicating that both humans and members of the Pan clade were present in the East African Rift Valley during the Middle Pleistocene.
Anatomy and physiology
The male common chimp stands up to 5.6 ft [1.7 m] high and weighs as much as 150 lb [70 kg]; the female is somewhat smaller. The common chimp’s long arms, when extended, span one and a half times the body’s height. A chimpanzee’s arms are longer than its legs. The bonobo is slightly shorter and thinner than the common chimpanzee but has longer limbs. In trees, both species climb with their long, powerful arms; on the ground, chimpanzees usually knuckle-walk, or walk on all fours, clenching their fists and supporting themselves on the knuckles thereof. Chimpanzee feet are better suited for walking than are those of the orangutan because the chimp has broader soles and shorter toes.
Both the common chimpanzee and bonobo can walk upright on two legs when carrying objects with their hands and arms. The bonobo has proportionately longer upper limbs and more often walks upright than does the common chimpanzee. The coat is dark; the face, fingers, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet, hairless; the chimp, tailless. The exposed skin of the face, hands and feet varies from pink to very dark in both species but is generally lighter in younger individuals, darkening as maturity is reached. A University of Chicago Medical Centre study has found significant genetic differences between chimpanzee populations. A bony shelf over the eyes gives the forehead a receding appearance, and the nose is flat. Although the jaws protrude, the lips are thrust out only when a chimp pouts.
The brain of a chimpanzee has been measured at ~337 cc, ~393 cc, with a general range of 282–500 cc. Human brains, in contrast, have been measured as being three times larger, variously reported volumes include ~1,299 cc, ~1,158 cc, and averages of ~1330 cc.
Chimpanzee testicles are unusually large for their body size, with a combined weight of about 4 oz [110 g] compared to a gorilla’s 1 oz [28 g] or a human’s 1.5 ounces [43 g]. This relatively great size is generally attributed to sperm competition due to the polyandrous nature of chimpanzee mating behaviour. Chimpanzees reach puberty at an age of between eight and 10 years and rarely live past age 40 in the wild, but some have lived longer than 60 years in captivity.
Bonobos are claimed to be more neotenized than the common chimpanzees because of such features as the proportionately long torso length of the bonobo.
Anatomical differences between the common chimpanzee and the bonobo are slight, but sexual and social behaviours are markedly different. The common chimpanzee has an omnivorous diet, a troop hunting culture based on beta males led by an alpha male, and highly complex social relationships. The bonobo, on the other hand, has a mostly frugivorous diet and an egalitarian, nonviolent, matriarchal, sexually receptive behaviour. Bonobos frequently have sex, sometimes to help prevent and resolve conflicts. Different groups of chimpanzees also have different cultural behaviour with preferences for types of tools. The common chimpanzee tends to display greater aggression than does the bonobo. The average, captive chimpanzee sleeps 9.7 hours per day.
Adult common chimpanzees, particularly males, can be very aggressive. They are highly territorial and are known to kill other chimps.
Chimpanzees also engage in targeted hunting of lower-order primates such as the red colobus and bush babies, and use the meat from these kills as a ‘social tool’ within their community.
In February 2013, a study found chimpanzees solve puzzles for entertainment.
Africans have had contact with chimpanzees for millennia. Chimpanzees have been kept as pets for centuries in a few African villages, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Virunga National Park in the east of the country, the park authorities regularly confiscate chimpanzees from people keeping them as pets.
The first recorded contact of Europeans with chimps took place in present-day Angola during the 17th century. The diary of Portuguese explorer Duarte Pacheco Pereira , preserved in the Portuguese National Archive [Torre do Tombo], is probably the first European document to acknowledge chimpanzees built their own rudimentary tools.
The first use of the name ‘chimpanzee’, however, did not occur until 1738.
The name is derived from a Tshiluba language term kivili-chimpenze, which is the local name for the animal and translates loosely as ‘mockman’ or possibly just ‘ape’.
The colloquialism ‘chimp’ was most likely coined some time in the late 1870s. Biologists applied Pan as the genus name of the animal.
Chimps, as well as other apes, had also been purported to have been known to Western writers in ancient times, but mainly as myths and legends on the edge of European and Arab societal consciousness, mainly through fragmented and sketchy accounts of European adventurers.
Apes are mentioned variously by Aristotle, as well as the English Bible, where they are described as having been collected by Solomon. [1 Kings 10:22. However the Hebrew word, qőf, may mean a monkey.] Apes are mentioned in the Qur’an [7:166], where God tells Israelites who transgressed Shabbat ‘Be ye apes’.
The first of these early transcontinental chimpanzees came from Angola and were presented as a gift to Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange in 1640, and were followed by a few of its brethren over the next several years. Scientists described these first chimpanzees as ‘pygmies’, and noted the animals’ distinct similarities to humans. The next two decades, a number of the creatures were imported into Europe, mainly acquired by various zoological gardens as entertainment for visitors.
Darwin’s theory of natural selection [published in 1859] spurred scientific interest in chimpanzees, as in much of life science, leading eventually to numerous studies of the animals in the wild and captivity. The observers of chimpanzees at the time were mainly interested in behaviour as it related to that of humans. This was less strictly and disinterestedly scientific than it might sound, with much attention being focused on whether or not the animals had traits that could be considered ‘good’; the intelligence of chimpanzees was often significantly exaggerated, as immortalized in Hugo Rheinhold’s Affe mit Schädel. By the end of the 19th century, chimpanzees remained very much a mystery to humans, with very little factual scientific information available.
In the 20th century, a new age of scientific research into chimpanzee behaviour began. Before 1960, almost nothing was known about chimpanzee behaviour in their natural habitats. In July of that year, Jane Goodall set out to Tanzania’s Gombe forest to live among the chimpanzees, where she primarily studied the members of the Kasakela chimpanzee community. Her discovery that chimpanzees made and used tools was groundbreaking, as humans were previously believed to be the only species to do so.
The most progressive early studies on chimpanzees were spearheaded primarily by Wolfgang Köhler and Robert Yerkes, both of whom were renowned psychologists. Both men and their colleagues established laboratory studies of chimpanzees focused specifically on learning about the intellectual abilities of chimpanzees, particularly problem-solving. This typically involved basic, practical tests on laboratory chimpanzees, which required a fairly high intellectual capacity [such as how to solve the problem of acquiring an out-of-reach banana].
Notably, Yerkes also made extensive observations of chimpanzees in the wild, which added tremendously to the scientific understanding of chimpanzees and their behaviour. Yerkes studied chimpanzees until World War II, while Köhler concluded five years of study and published his famous Mentality of Apes in 1925 [which is coincidentally when Yerkes began his analyses], eventually concluding, ‘chimpanzees manifest intelligent behaviour of the general kind familiar in human beings … a type of behaviour which counts as specifically human’ .
The August 2008 issue of the American Journal of Primatology reported results of a yearlong study of chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Mahale Mountains National Park, which produced evidence of chimpanzees becoming sick from viral infectious diseases they have likely contracted from humans. Molecular, microscopic and epidemiological investigations demonstrated the chimpanzees living at Mahale Mountains National Park have been suffering from a respiratory disease that is likely caused by a variant of a human paramyxovirus.
Chimpanzee – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The orangutans are the two exclusively Asian species of extant great apes. Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are currently found in only the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. Classified in the genus Pongo, orangutans were considered to be one species. However, since 1996, they have been divided into two species: the Bornean orangutan [P. pygmaeus] and the Sumatran orangutan [P. abelii]. In addition, the Bornean species is divided into three subspecies. Based on genome sequencing, the two extant orangutan species evidently diverged around 400,000 years ago.
The orangutans are also the only surviving species of the subfamily Ponginae, which also included several other species, such as the three extinct species of the genus Gigantopithecus, including the largest known primate Gigantopithecus blacki. The ancestors of the Ponginae subfamily split from the main ape line in Africa 16 to 19 million years ago [mya] and spread into Asia.
Orangutans are the most arboreal of the great apes and spend most of their time in trees. Their hair is typically reddish-brown, instead of the brown or black hair typical of chimpanzees and gorillas. Males and females differ in size and appearance. Dominant adult males have distinctive cheek pads and produce long calls that attract females and intimidate rivals. Younger males do not have these characteristics and resemble adult females. Orangutans are the most solitary of the great apes, with social bonds occurring primarily between mothers and their dependent offspring, who stay together for the first two years. Fruit is the most important component of an orangutan’s diet; however, the apes will also eat vegetation, bark, honey, insects and even bird eggs. They can live for over 30 years in both the wild and captivity.
Orangutans are among the most intelligent primates; they use a variety of sophisticated tools and construct elaborate sleeping nests each night from branches and foliage. The apes have been extensively studied for their learning abilities. There may even be distinctive cultures within populations. Field studies of the apes were pioneered by primatologist Birutė Galdikas. Both orangutan species are considered to be Endangered, with the Sumatran orangutan being Critically Endangered. Human activities have caused severe declines in the populations and ranges of both species. Threats to wild orangutan populations include poaching, habitat destruction, and the illegal pet trade. Several conservation and rehabilitation organisations are dedicated to the survival of orangutans in the wild.
The name ‘orangutan’ [also written orang-utan, orang utan, orangutang, and ourang-outang] is derived from the Malay and Indonesian words orang meaning ‘person’ and hutan meaning ‘forest’, thus ‘person of the forest’, [man of the forest originally – but political correctiness has changed all that.] * See Footnote at Page Bottom.
Orang Hutan was originally not used to refer to apes, but to forest-dwelling humans. The Malay words used to refer specifically to the ape, are maias and mawas, but it is unclear if those words refer to just orangutans, or to all apes in general. The first attestation of the word to name the Asian ape is in Dutch physician Jacobus Bontius’ 1631 Historiae naturalis et medicae Indiae orientalis – he described that Malaysians had informed him the ape was able to talk, but preferred not to ‘lest he be compelled to labour’. The word appeared in several German-language descriptions of Indonesian zoology in the 17th century. The likely origin of the word comes specifically from the Banjarese variety of Malay. * See Footnote at Page Bottom.
The word was first attested in English in 1691 in the form orang-outang, and variants with -ng instead of -n as in the Malay original are found in many languages. This spelling [and pronunciation] has remained in use in English up to the present, but has come to be regarded as incorrect. The loss of ‘h’ in Utan and the shift from n to -ng has been taken to suggest that the term entered English through Portuguese. In 1869, British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, co-creator of modern evolutionary theory, published his account of Malaysia’s wildlife: The Malay Archipelago: The Land of the Orang-Utan and the Bird of Paradise.
The name of the genus, Pongo, comes from a 16th-century account by Andrew Battell, an English sailor held prisoner by the Portuguese in Angola, which describes two anthropoid “monsters” named Pongo and Engeco. He is now believed to have been describing gorillas, but in the late 18th century, all great apes were believed to be orangutans, hence Lacépède’s use of Pongo for the genus.
Taxonomy, phylogeny and genetics
The two orangutan species are the only extant members of the subfamily Ponginae. This subfamily also included the extinct genera Lufengpithecus, which lived in southern China and Thailand 2–8 mya, and Sivapithecus, which lived India and Pakistan from 12.5 mya until 8.5 mya. These apes likely lived in drier and cooler environments than orangutans do today. Khoratpithecus piriyai, which lived in Thailand 5–7 mya, is believed to have been the closest known relative of the orangutans. The largest known primate, Gigantopithecus, was also a member of Ponginae and lived in China, India and Vietnam from 5 mya to 100,000 years ago. Within apes [superfamily Hominoidea], the gibbons diverged during the early Miocene [between 19.7 and 24.1 mya, according to molecular evidence] and the orangutans split from the African great ape lineage between 15.7 and 19.3 mya.
Bornean orangutan [Pongo pygmaeus]
Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus – northwest populations
Pongo pygmaeus morio – east populations
Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii – southwest populations
Sumatran orangutan [Pongo abelii]
Orangutan – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gibbons are a member of the order Primates and superfamily Hominoidea. Gibbons are included among the lesser apes, in the family Hylobatidae. The family is divided into 4 genera, based on diploid chromosome number: Hylobates , Hoolock , Nomascus , and Symphalangus  [Geissmann Gibbon Research Lab: Introduction].
It is estimated that the split between the great apes and the gibbon occurred about 15-18 MYA [Groves 2005]. The radiation of the gibbon began about 10.5 MYA. It started in Southeast Asia, before spreading south to Malaysia and Sumatra. It is hypothesized that once the gibbons reached Sumatra they moved to Java and Borneo around 3 to 5 MYA [Raaum et al. 2005].
While gibbons display the least amount of cognitive skill, they are also the most bipedal of all the nonhuman primates—and that is despite their morphological adaptation to brachiation. In contrast, the chimpanzee and bonobo, which are the closed relatives of man, rarely use bipedalism.
Primate – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
But gibbons use bipedalism more than chimpanzees and bonobos merely because they are smaller, lighter and more agile, and also mainly when running along wide branches, rarely on the ground.
When they do come down to earth between trees of some necessity [such as a gap too wide to negotiate at treetop level], they do so very hurriedly and in a wobbly fashion, looking most odd with their incredibly long arms spread out sideways, fingertips trailing along the ground.
Dave Draper 2014
Singing Simian – Gibbons are Natural born Singers [Hylobates Lar]
We’re not the only singing simians. Not only do gibbons sing, but a new study of one singing, helium-breathing gibbon shows they use the same vocal technique as human sopranos.
“This is the first study to show a non-human primate using a mechanism similar to humans to make the very distinct vocalisation of songs,” said primatologist Takeshi Nishimura of Japan’s Kyoto University.
In the wild, gibbons produce loud, melodious vocalisations, ideal for communicating in the dense Southeast Asian jungles where they live. The tones are difficult to analyse, though, and are actually more amenable to study in helium-rich air, in which sounds travel faster and certain frequencies shift to a higher pitch.
To study the songs’ acoustic properties, Nishimura and colleagues placed a female white-handed gibbon named Fuku-chan in a chamber with helium-enriched air, then analysed her crooning. The results were reported on the 23 August in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
Two hypotheses exist for how gibbons produce sound. According to one, their oral and nasal pathways could resonate in tandem with the folds of their larynx, where sounds are produced, so that their vocal system behaves like a musical wind instrument. Alternatively, the vocal system could be more human-like, in which vocal tract and larynx resonate independently.
This allows humans to amplify the lowest-pitched sounds differently from the highest-pitched. Nishimura’s team found just such a division in Fuku-chan’s song. According to Nishimura, human speech was long believed to arise from unique anatomy and physiology. These results suggest that our anatomy isn’t so unique.
The study “illustrates the broad applicability of source-filter theory” — the fancy name for how how humans vocalise — “to nonhuman animals,” said evolutionary biologist and cognitive scientist Tecumseh Fitch in an email.
Fitch, who was not involved in the study, has demonstrated in his own research that human speech relies on neural control of the vocal system, rather than a unique anatomy. The new study indicates that gibbon vocalisation works similarly.
What’s more, Fuku-chan’s singing technique resembled a human soprano’s: she modulated it in a way that amplified her voice.
Gibbon song is quite literally a far cry from the musical stylings of sopranos like Maria Callas. But whereas human sopranos spend years perfecting their technique, according to Nishimura, “it’s easy for gibbons.”
Citation: “Soprano singing in gibbons.” By Hiroki Koda, Takeshi Nishimura, Isao T. Tokuda, Chisako Oyakawa, Toshikuni Nihonmatsu, Nobuo Masataka. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, August 2012.
Source: Wired.com Image: Shutterstock
Treetop Acrobat [photograph in slideshow]
Photograph courtesy Terry Whittaker, Conservation International
Northern white-cheeked gibbons have specialized wrist joints and powerful arm muscles, which allow them to swing from tree branches, like the male pictured above in Pu Mat. The primates eat fruit, leaves, and insects and rarely descend to the ground.
While the newly discovered group—if properly protected—is enough to ensure the long-term survival of the species, gun control is also vital, Luu said.
“Without direct protection in Pu Mat National Park, it is likely that Vietnam will lose this species in the near future.”
The siamang [Symphalangus syndactylus – mentioned as one of the four genera of gibbons above] is a tailless, arboreal, black-furred gibbon native to the forests of Malaysia, Thailand, and Sumatra. The largest of the lesser apes, the siamang can be twice the size of other gibbons, reaching 1 metre in height, and weighing up to 14 kg. The siamang is the only species in the genus Symphalangus.
The siamang is distinctive for two reasons. The first is that two digits on each foot are partially joined by a membrane—hence the name ‘syndactylus’, from the Ancient Greek, sun ‘united’ + daktulos,‘finger’. The second is the large gular sac [found in both males and females of the species], which is a throat pouch that can be inflated to the size of the siamang’s head, allowing the animal to make loud, resonating calls or songs.
There may be two subspecies of the siamang. If so, they are the nominate Sumatran siamang [S. s. syndactylus] and the Malaysian siamang [S. s. continentis] in peninsular Malaysia. Otherwise, the Malaysian individuals are only a population. The siamang occurs sympatrically with other gibbons; its two ranges are entirely within the combined ranges of the agile gibbon and the lar gibbon. Although the siamang is given a name different from that of other gibbons, this division is not cladistically sound, since the genus Nomascus split from the rest of the gibbons before the Symphalangus split.
The siamang can live more than 30 years in captivity.
While the illegal pet trade takes a toll on wild populations, the principal threat to the siamang is habitat loss in both Malaysia and Sumatra. The palm oil production industry is clearing large swaths of forest, reducing the habitat of the siamang, along with that of other species, such as the Sumatran tiger.
As a frugivorous animal, the siamang disperses seeds through defecation as it travels across its territory. The siamang can carry seed and defecate over 300 m with the shortest distance being 47.6 m from the seed resource, which supports the forest regeneration and succession.
Threats and conservation
The siamang, as an arboreal primate, absolutely depends on the forest for existence, so is facing a population decrease due to habitat loss, poaching and hunting.
Poaching and hunting
Unlike other parts of Asia, primates are not hunted for their meat in Indonesia [the exception is Chinese restaurants in Indonesia, which sometimes serve macaque]. They are poached and hunted for the illegal pet trade, mostly for infant siamangs. Poachers often kill the mothers first, since siamang females are highly protective of their infants, and it is difficult to remove the infant without first killing the mother. Most siamangs on the market are infants, which often die during transportation.
The siamang is known to occur in at least ten protected areas: Kerinci Seblat National Park, Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Gunung Leuser National Park, Way Kambas National Park and West Langkat Reserve in Indonesia, Fraser’s Hill Reserve, Gunong Besout Forest Reserve, Krau Wildlife Reserve and Ulu Gombak Wildlife Reserve in Malaysia and the Hala Bala Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lemurs | lee-mər | are a clade of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. The word ‘lemur’ derives from the word lemures [ghosts or spirits] from Roman mythology and was first used to describe a slender loris due to its nocturnal habits and slow pace, but was later applied to the primates on Madagascar.
Although lemurs often are confused with ancestral primates, the anthropoid primates [monkeys, apes, and humans] did not evolve from them; instead, lemurs merely share morphological and behavioural traits with basal primates.
Lemurs arrived in Madagascar around 62 to 65 mya by rafting on mats of vegetation at a time when ocean currents favored oceanic dispersal to the island. Since that time, lemurs have evolved to cope with an extremely seasonal environment and their adaptations give them a level of diversity that rivals that of all other primate groups.
Until shortly after humans arrived on the island around 2,000 years ago, there were lemurs as large as a male gorilla. Today, there are nearly 100 species of lemurs, and most of those species have been discovered or promoted to full species status since the 1990s; however, lemur taxonomic classification is controversial and depends on which species concept is used.
Even the higher-level taxonomy is disputed, with some experts preferring to place most lemurs within the infraorder Lemuriformes, while others prefer Lemuriformes to contain all living strepsirrhines, placing all lemurs in superfamily Lemuroidea and all lorises and galagos in superfamily Lorisoidea.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dave Draper 2014
Hominoid |ˈhɒmɪnɔɪd| Zoology
A primate of a group that includes humans, their fossil ancestors, and the great apes. • Superfamily Hominoidea: families Hominidae and Pongidae.
Of or relating to primates of this group; hominid or pongid.
ORIGIN early 20th cent: from Latin homo, homin – ‘human being’ + -oid.
Compiled and Edited by Dave Draper 2014
1. Resembling man
2. Resembling an ape; apelike
3. [Zoology] of or relating to the suborder Anthropoidea
4. [Animals] any primate of the suborder Anthropoidea, including monkeys, apes, and man. Compare prosimian
[Any primate of the primitive suborder Prosimii, including lemurs, lorises, and tarsiers
1. Resembling a human, especially in shape or outward appearance.
2. Of, or belonging to the group of great apes of the family Pongidae, which includes the gorilla, chimpanzee, and orangutan.
3. Resembling or characteristic of an ape; apelike.
Noun. An ape of the family Pongidae – also called anthropoid ape.
A fictional character, thing, or event occurs in a story, play, or film, and has never actually existed or happened.
Dictionary definitions, various sources.
* Orangutan [Noun]
1690s: from Dutch orang-outang  from Malay, ‘orang utan’.
Literally ‘man of the woods’ – from orang ‘man’ + utan, hutan ‘forest, wild’. It is possible that the word was originally used by town-dwellers on Java to describe savage forest tribes of the Sunda Islands and that Europeans misunderstood it to mean the ape. The name is not now applied in Malay to the animal, but there is evidence that it was used so in the 17th century. [OED]
From ONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARY
* Orang Utan – Orang Hutan
The likely origin of the word comes specifically from the Banjarese variety of Malay.
The image named Gorilloid [a word invented or re-invented, seeing as I found out the word was already in use] by Dave Draper for an illustration which was originally under the title, Gorilla in 1972, is the copyright creation of Dave Draper and is located under Wildlife and Caricature in the Art section.
The term Gorilloid together with Chimpanzoid is also referred to in the science fiction story Orangoid, written by Dave Draper © 1991 and located in the writing section.
Dave Draper 2014