What does Simian or Ape mean
The word simian comes from the Latin simius or ape and is the name given to the anthropoid primates. However, if the first letter of the term is written with a capital letter (Simian), the reference is made to the suborder of these animals.
In Spanish, simian is used as a synonym of monkey and has been mistakenly popularized as the translation of Ape that refers, in fact, to the gorillas.
The error is that these don’t belong to the same taxonomic classification, but the use has made the law and the SAR has legitimized that it be used in this way. For example, in Spanish they are often said phrases like “the gorilla is my favorite monkey” and is not considered ill-said.
This is why they take gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans as “great simians”. In other languages there are also other terms to distinguish between apes, monkeys and other primate groups.
It’s important to note that humans also belong to primates and thanks to a series of biological changes we have differentiated from the rest of them in many aspects.
Major differences between simians (and other primates) and humans
Human beings have a distinction between legs and arms, while monkeys don’t. They walk leaning on their four legs, and we do it on our two “hind legs”.
This makes our position erect and we can use the hands for other activities. Biologically, our pelvis is shorter and wider than the simians and this is what allows us to “stand up”
Opposite thumb in the hand
This means that our thumb is opposed to our other fingers. That is to say, we can touch the fingers tips of the same hand with him. This allows us to grasp and manipulate more things than other primates.
The cranial capacity of human beings can be up to three times greater than the simians capacity. Which means that we have many more intellectual skills and is one of the main reasons that we have been able to build societies and cultures.
Thanks to our anatomy, humans can articulate more sounds. That is to say, the oral cavity and vocal cords we have are responsible for creating complex verbal languages that have strengthened the evolution of the human brain over the years.
Even so, simians are very much like people. Even in an emotional aspect.
Curiosities about Simians
– There are more than 260 species.
– According to their geographical location they are divided between the simians of the New World and the simians of the Old World. The first live in America and the second between Africa and Asia.
– There is only one monkey that has populated a small section of Europe near Africa and is called monkey of Gibraltar.
– All monkeys have a tail (but in some cases it’s very small and sometimes it’s imperceptible).
– Tamarins and marmosets live only in South America.
– Howler monkeys can be heard up to 3 kilometers in the middle of the jungle.
– The monkey that lies further north is the japanese macao that can withstand the lowest temperatures and snow.
– The fastest is the red monkey, which can reach up to 50-55 kilometers per hour while he’s running.
– Generally, they have between one or two pups at each birth. Although the marmosets can have up to three.
– The biggest simian of all is the mandril.
– The smallest of all is the pygmy marmoset that measures a little more than 15 centimeters high.
– The narigudo monkey never eats the ripe fruits because they can ferment in his stomach and he would have stomach discomfort.
– The gelada is the only specie that feeds on grass and spends up to 60% of its time eating.
– Only some simians have tails that allow them to be attached to the branches of the trees.
– The first living being sent into space was a monkey (Rhesus monkey) named Albert I.
– Chimpanzees give themselves kisses, hugs, claps on the back, tickle and even laugh when they play.
– It has been very recently possible to determine the paternity of some species through DNA analysis in excreta samples.
– Some have an opposable thumb almost as useful as humans. And they have them even on their hind legs (feet). Therefore, they could grab a lemon with their feet, something that humans can not do.
– A chimpanzee can become depressed and even die of grief over the loss of a loved one. Such was the case of Flint and his mother Flo in Gombe.
– There is a teddy monkey that is famous thanks to the primatologist Jane Goodall. The toy was a gift from an American sailor named Gary Haun who lost his sight in an accident and has since become a wizard named Mr. H. The monkey has the same name. It should be noted that Goodall is one of the persons that known best the chimpanzee behavior.
– Humans, on some occasions, have smaller simians as pets.