Great Apes' Social Behavior

Rachel Harvey

Natural Selection


  • Natural Selection is organism better adapt to the environment.
  • Great Apes' teeth have changed over time.
  • The thickness of enamel in great apes' reflects the mechanical demand on diet.
  • The evolution of the teeth helps Apes' survive scarce food.
  • "It makes sense if you think about it," says GWU's Paul Constantino. "When resources are scarce, that's when natural selection is highly active in weeding out the less fit, so animals without the necessary equipment to get through those tough times won't pass on their genes to the next generation."

Do Great Apes' have tails?

  • Great apes do not have tails which is a misconception that people have.
  • Great ape's do not need a tail to balance because they are large enough that they can stand on their own.

Predation for Apes


  • Predation helps shape the way the behavior of Great Apes'
  • It helps Apes' adapt to the new predictor patterns
  • Forest Leopards are a threat in the African Rainforest and risk the great ape population
  • This threat may then change the behavior of great apes' in accordance with predation
  • Gorilla's do not have a big threat to most predators because they are much bigger and have more strength.

Great Apes Social Life

  • Gorilla's love to live on the ground and live in a group where the adult male(silver back) is dominant and multiple females. The size of a troop(group of gorilla's) is usually 5-10.
  • Orangutans spend most of their time in trees and live in a solitary(alone) lifestyle. Most social bonds happen between mothers and their offspring.
  • Chimpanzees live in large groups of about 150 individuals. When looking for food the group splits up. Males are dominant over females in the troop.
  • Bonobos live in groups of 100 bonobos. The troop breaks up to look for food. Bonobos live a peaceful, egalitarian, and cooperative society. This is due to the evolution of high complex social system. Females are dominant over males.

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Great Apes Diet

  • Gorilla's are plant eaters and chow down on stems, bamboo, shoots, and fruits.
  • Orangutan's diet is 60% fruits and often eat young leaves, shoots, seeds, bark, insects, and bird eggs.
  • Chimp's eat mostly fruit and veggies but also eat insects, eggs, and meat. Chimps also make tools to help getting food easier.
  • Bonobo's diet is made up of 50% fruit and also eat vegetation, insects, larvae, earthworms, eggs, and small mammals.