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Gorilla, a primate
Skeleton comparison betweenhuman and gorilla
Eve Mahn, a fictional vervet monkey character in Extinctioners

A primate is part of diverse order of mammal, which are divided into the strepsirrhines, which include lemurs, galagos, and lorisids, and the haplorhines, which include tarsiers and the simians (monkeys, which including apes and humans).


Primates are generally characterized as having five fingers, a generalized dental pattern, and a primitive (unspecialized) body plan. Another distinguishing feature of primates is their fingernails. Opposing thumbs are also a characteristic primate feature.


Monkeys are known for their long prehensile tails and extreme agility. In captivity, they have a habit of imitating the movements of people watching them, which gave rise to the term "ape", meaning to mimic. Monkeys are usually characterized as mischievous and rude. The monkey is a sign of the Chinese zodiac.


Apes: consists of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. A few other primates have the word "ape" in their common names, but they are not regarded as true apes by most authorities.

Except for hominids, all true apes are agile climbers of trees. They are best described as omnivorous, their diet consisting of fruit, grass seeds, and in most cases some quantities of meat and invertebrates—either hunted or scavenged—along with anything else available and easily digested. They are native to Africa and Asia, although humans have spread to all parts of the world.

Primates in mainstream culture and religion[edit]


  • In the film adaptations of The Jungle Book, King Louie's minions were monkeys.
  • Monkeyshine Productions/Epoch Ink's Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys was a noteworthy attempt to explore monkeys as characters.
  • Crossgen Comics' Way of the Rat also features a wise yet flippant talking monkey named Po Po.
  • The Forbidden Kingdom features "The Monkey King" (Jet Li) a god-like character with monkey features and playful mannerisms that mimic a monkey.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! is an animated television series following the story of five robotic monkeys and a human boy named Chiro as they struggle against the evil forces of the Skeleton King, their nemesis.
  • The budget shooter The Monkey King on Wii features two in the form of Wukong (Michael in Japan) and Mei Mei, a female monkey with hair buns in a Chinese dress.


  • A fictional race of anthropomorphic highly intelligent gorillas exists in the DC Comics universe in a secret city of gorillas, including a Flash villain named Gorilla Grodd.
  • The giant gorilla is a recurring theme in the film, especially in the various incarnations of King Kong and Mighty Joe Young.

In the British sitcom The Mighty Boosh, one of the regular characters is Bollo, the world's oldest gorilla and assistant to Naboo the shaman.

  • Fester Bestertester, the protagonist of Don Martin's Mad Magazine strip "National Gorilla-Suit Day" is beset by gorillas (or persons dressed as gorillas). "National Gorilla-Suit Day" is celebrated every year on January 31st. Writer Mark Evanier promotes this holiday on his website [1], [2].
  • Gorillas are often used as mascots for schools and sports team.
    • Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, is the only public college in the United States to have a gorilla as a mascot.
    • The Phillips Academy boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts has a gorilla as an informal mascot.
    • The Phoenix Suns mascot is called The Gorilla.
  • The Kong family from Donkey Kong Country consists primarily of apes (Diddy Kong is the sole exception). Candy Kong and the recent redesign of Tiny Kong are the most anthropomorphic of the bunch.


  • King Julien, Maurice, and Mort from Madagascar are a ring-tailed lemur, aye-aye, and mouse lemur.

See also[edit]