Orangutan, Gorilla and Chimpanzees’ Social Structure

Posted: September 3rd, 2013





Orangutan, Gorilla and Chimpanzees’ Social Structure

The orangutans, gorillas and the chimpanzees are in the Primates order. This makes them have both similar and diverse characteristics. There are many differences and similarities when it comes to their social structures. This is because they are social animals, a common characteristic in other animals. The Orangutans are found in the tropical forests of Sumatra nd Borneo. These animals face extinction. The gorillas are mostly found in Africa. They also face extinction. The chimpanzees are found in most parts of Africa. These are more than the orangutans and the gorillas.


One main characteristic of the three types of primates is that they groups. Although the groups differ with each of the primates, these groups are quite visible. The only notable difference is seen with the orangutans. Some people feel that they are lonely animals. However, the females tend to live in sparsely spaced communities or groups. The females live and are very close to their young ones for approximately two years. They continue being constant for another four or five years. The female offsprings are in closer contact with their mothers than the male ones. When they finally disperse from their mothers, the female orangutans make their own habitat within their mothers’ habitat. This is why they are seen as sparse communities.

The gorillas and the chimpanzees live in more conspicuous groups and communities respectively. The gorilla groups comprise of three to ten members having one male as the dominant authority and the only male (Kaas 32). The chimpanzees live as a community, which are made up of forty or more chimpanzees. A community is led by one male. Other males may have diverse responsibilities (University of Wisconsin, 2012).

In all the three categories of primates, the males dominate the females. However, the females have their own hierarchical order but it always under the reigning male’s authority. The members of the diverse groups are also very affectionate of their offsprings. They are very patient with them and they protect them up to great lengths. The gorillas, for example, protect their offspring with their lives (Kaas 33). This is mostly the work of the dominating male. The female chimpanzees may also take part in a fight is they see that their offspring is in danger. The three categories are in constant fights with the humans. However, they also engage in fights with their counterparts of other groups or communities.


As earlier identified, there exists a similarity in their units. However, these groups or units also depict some differences. The sizes of the groups differ. The gorillas do not live in groups that a larger than ten members. Larger groups are very rear. They are only formed when a dominating gorilla defeats another dominating gorilla in a fight. This makes the winning gorilla to bring his group to the other group thus forming a larger group. However, dominating gorillas hardly get into fights with each other. Chimpanzees live in larger communities while the orangutans’ communities are hardly noted.

Another difference is evident in their grooming. Grooming is a very important part of their day-to-day activities. They spend many hours grooming each other. The dominating males do not take part in this activity, however. The activity is mostly done by the females and the children who are old enough to emulate the adults. The chimpanzees take part in grooming when they want to maintain a social status (University of Wisconsin, 2012). This is included when competing. The orangutans are also not fond of grooming. However, the females do this to their young ones from time to time.

Works cited

Kaas, Jon H. Primates. Amsterdam [u.a.: Academic Press, 2007. Print.

University of Wisconsin. Primate Info Net. Web, Primate Info Net, 2012. Web. March 2, 2012. <http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/chimpanzee/behav>

Expert paper writers are just a few clicks away

Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.

Calculate the price of your order

You will get a personal manager and a discount.
We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price: