Apes (gorillas, chimps, orangutans, siamangs and gibbons) are very special animals that have unique adaptations that give them the aptitude to accomplish astounding tasks. An adaptation is a characteristic that evolves over time to help an animal be better suited to its habitat. These adaptations give animals the natural ability to do things that other species cannot. 
 

Willie makes a bamboo tool to fish for treats

 

 Every morning we wake up and get dressed. It is a simple task that we do every day with the only real tough decision being what we are going to wear. Not much thought goes into how we will put on those clothes. Now, imagine how much harder it would be to do those simple tasks without thumbs. Thumbs allow our chimps to hold onto sticks to get items out of the termite mounds. Having an opposable thumb is just one of several adaptations that apes and other primates have.
 
Apes also have a rotary shoulder joint which allows them to brachiate (swing) and hang from their arms. Some apes do this better than others. Gibbons can brachiate at speeds as high as 35 mph and can travel as far as 20 feet in one swing! So, maybe we should change the name “monkey bars” to “ape bars”.

 Come visit us this Ape-ril to see our fantastic animals display their ape-titude!
Written by Primate Keeper Tina Carpenter
 
 
 

 

One Response to ““Ape”titude!”

  1. Janet Caruso says:

    I have a question about your Gibbons…
    Do you or have you ever had a Gibbon named Gully? Purchased or traded from Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield Illinois?

Leave a Reply