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Fossil range: Late Oligocene - Recent
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorrhini
Parvorder: Catarrhini
Superfamily: Hominoidea
Gray, 1825


The living apes are primates who are tailless, of relatively large body size and all originate in the Old World. The group includes humans. All apes are catarrhine primates and have eight premolars.

Ape species

Typically included in the grouping "apes" are gibbons and siamangs from southeast Asia, orangutans from Borneo and Sumatra, mountain and lowland gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos, and humans. Under the modern genetic classification scheme (see Hominin for more on this), apes are in the superfamily Hominoidea. Underneath this hominoid umbrella falls orang-utans, gorillas, chimps and humans in the Family Hominidae. In recognition of their genetic divergence some 11-13 million years ago, the orangutans are placed in the sub-family Ponginae and the African apes, including humans, are lumped together in the Subfamily Homininae. The bipedal apes, namely all of the fossil species as well as living humans, fall into the Tribe Hominini. Some evolutionary biologists include humans and chimpanzees within the same genus, the genus Homo[1][2][3].


  1. L.R. Berger (2001). Is it time to revise the system of scientific naming. National Geographic. Retrieved on 2007-08-10.
  2. J. Fleagle (1998). Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press: New York. 
  3. F. Szalay and E. Delson (2001). Evolutionary History of the Primates. Academic Press, New York.