Why Don’t Some Apes Have Tails? ( know with Images)

You may have already seen different types of monkeys, along with their different types of tails. However, there are several types of apes that are similar to monkeys who do not have tails. Do you know why? 

Let Us Discuss This Below.

Apes and monkeys are primates, meaning they are part of the family tree of us humans. As distinguished relatives of those mammals, we must be able to tell them apart. However, when looking at a marmoset or a gibbon, how will you know which one is an ape and which is a monkey?

The fastest method to tell the difference between an ape and a monkey is the absence and presence of a tail. Almost all monkeys on the planet have tails; however, apes do not. The bodies of these two types of mammals are different as well. Let us discuss this.

Apes are larger bodies with broad chests and shoulder joints that enable them to swing through trees, whereas monkeys are usually narrow-chested and smaller in size. Though some monkeys can swing across trees, most of them generally prefer to run across tree branches.

Although you may not be able to recognize this subtle difference on sight, apes have an organ known as an appendix, whereas monkeys don’t. While both mammals can interact with sounds and body gestures, apes have already demonstrated much higher language ability. Some apes can even be trained to learn human sign language with ease.

However, another good way to remember is too rote memorization. Today, there are just a handful of apes, whereas hundreds of species of monkeys. If the primate you are trying to find is not a gibbon, bonobo, gorilla, or orangutan, then it will be a monkey.

Why Do Our Ancestors Not Have Tails?

Almost 25 million years ago, our ancestors started to live without their tails. Now, geneticists may have found out the actual mutation procedure that prevented apes from growing tails. If that reason is correct, we can say that this loss happened suddenly instead of the tails shrinking gradually.

In this exciting new research, researchers discussed an ancient change to a specific primate gene that can ultimately result in the loss of tails in apes such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and of course, us humans.

Most monkeys have impressive and useful serpentine tails because they don’t have this specific kind of mutation.

This discovery has also helped a lot in answering a very common question: “Why do we humans not have tails?” This mutation didn’t take place in the conspicuous place in the genome of the primate. It was a unique thing that happened to tailless apes. 

By comparing the genomes of tailless and tailed primates, researchers spotted that apes and humans had unique DNA inserted into their TBXT genes. This gene can carry genetic instructions that are needed for the formation of tails.

This kind of gene is known as a “jumping gene” that can jump around. It can even insert itself randomly into several places in the genome, eventually forming this mutation. 

Eventually, this insertion process led to a new pattern of the TBXT gene that coded for a smaller or no tail.

Therefore, in this article, we have learned various interesting information about apes and monkeys and why some monkeys don’t have tails. For some extra information, you can see our website.

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