How strong are chimpanzees/gorillas?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Alan McDougall, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Alan McDougall Alan McDougall Registered Senior Member

    How strong are they?

    The chimpanzee has strength for a human that is utterly incomprehensible. People watch pro wrestlers on TV and think they are strong. But a pro wrestler would not be able to hold a chimpanzee still if they wanted to.

    Chimpanzee males have been measured as having five times the arm strength as a human male

    Do you agree? what about the strength of the huge adult male gorilla?
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    There are two species of chimpanzees. The "true" chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, is the larger, and our species's closest relative. This shows in their behavior, which includes treachery and murder. The bonobo, P. paniscus, is smaller and more peaceful. Known as the free-lovin' hippies of the jungle, bonobos spend a considerable amount of their time in riotous sexual activity that includes both sexes and all ages indiscriminately in pairs and large groups.
    Agree with what? The strength of the chimpanzee is well known. They can beat the holy shit out of a really strong human.
    It's spelled "gorilla" and there are two species of this ape also. The mountain gorilla, Gorilla gorilla, and the western lowland gorilla, G. beringei, are not as strikingly different in size or behavior as the two chimp species.

    An adult male gorilla weighs 300-400lb/135-180kg, at least twice as large as a male chimp. His strength is proportional.

    The gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and our species, Homo sapiens, are in the family Hominidae, often called in English the "great apes." The "lesser apes" are the gibbons, in the family Hylobatidae. These two families together account for all living species of apes.

    Apes, Old World monkeys, New World monkeys, tarsiers, lorises and lemurs make up the order of primates.
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  5. Epictetus here & now Registered Senior Member

    All I know is when I was about eight years old and there was a fair in town, my friends and I were on the way there when we met a man in a parked van with a chimpanzee riding shotgun. Normally such a thing would be unprecedented in our community, but we correctly assumed the man and chimp had something to do with the fair. Naturally all the kids were curious about the chimp and went for a closer look. The chimp was a professional performance artist and knew he had to be polite and friendly even outside showtime. So he was shaking hands with all comers, and he shook my hand too.

    So even though I was just a little one, I appreciated the tremendous strength in the ape's hand. The chimp knew not to use his strength, nevertheless it was clearly there.

    At that age I had some experience swinging in trees myself, and had seen apes and monkeys doing the same and I knew I couldn't swing like that because I wasn't strong enough.

    I have since learned, studying anthropology, that homo sapiens are real pussy cats in physical terms. We, well, most of us, rely on brain rather than brawn.

    So you're right, apes are all tremendously strong, and even a small, young one like I met that day at the fair could easily kick the tar out of a man. I can guess that any full grown chimpanzee, any at all, could easily whop the best human wrestler ever. No contest.

    I found a link for you. It is incorrectly titled "Sumo Wrestler vs. Monkey" (It features an orangutan), but it is instructive. I like how the orangutan doesn't need to be goaded like a pack animal, it understands very well what is going on.
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  7. Alan McDougall Alan McDougall Registered Senior Member

    Below is a report of a chimp attack in Africa I altered this account because I saw the National Geographic Documentary on this attack and some events were left out.

    FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2006
    Texas man tells story of fatal chimp attack

    His friend's hand was a mangled mess — most of it was gone. The station wagon had stalled after the driver desperately tried to ram through a gate. And now the chimpanzee that had attacked them on an isolated mountain road in West Africa was coming at them again.

    What was supposed to be a day of sightseeing Sunday at the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary had turned into a moment that will forever be seared into Gary Brown's memory?

    "I knew I was going to die, but I didn't want to die running," said the 51-year-old Texas man, who was working as a contractor in Sierra Leone.

    Inside the Peugeot station wagon were Brown, two American co-workers, Melvin Mammah, a friend Brown had met in Freetown, and Issa Kanu, who had been driving them back and forth to work and other places during their stay. Brown was in Africa working for a telecommunications company at the American embassy, said officials with Spectrum Solutions and Caddell Construction.

    Brown, who returned home Tuesday night, didn't know at the time that more than a dozen chimps had escaped from the 100-acre sanctuary on the outskirts of the capital of Freetown. And he didn't know chimps would attack people. When the chimp had appeared on the road in front of them, he had fished for his camera, eager to get a snapshot.

    That's when the chimp charged, Brown said.

    He said it tore off the side mirror and broke through the back windshield. "It was like the glass wasn't even there," he said.

    Brown, said he's 5-foot-9 and weighs more than 200 pounds, and the chimp probably outweighed him.

    "He had every bit two-inch fangs, and he was screaming like a banshee . . . when he was charging us."

    Mammah fought the chimp off, but not before the chimp bit off half of his hand, Brown said.

    They wrapped up Mammah's hand and drove forward, trying to outrun the chimp, he said. Then they came to a steel gate. Kanu rammed it, and the gate opened, but not enough to get the car through, he said.

    The car stalled, its front end crumpled. Reverse didn't work, so they got out trying to push it backward so they could turn it around, Brown said.

    "He was charging again, coming up the road," Brown said. "When we turned around, we all dove in the car."

    Kanu tried the key again. The wagon started, and he tried to drive through the opening in the gate, but it became wedged into the opening, Brown said.

    The chimp "went across the top of the car, and that's when . . . it was just a flurry trying to get away from it. Melvin got pulled out of the car by it."

    When he jumped out of the car, Brown said he heard Mammah screaming for help. Everyone else in the car had fled, Brown said.

    Kanu who had fled with the huge crazed Chimp in pursuit, tried to outrun it in terror and sadly was easily caught and killed. Later they would see the awful result of this terrible mauling by the huge animal

    The Chimp reappeared out of the bushes

    Brown said he used to work as a telephone lineman and was used to facing down angry dogs. He spotted a large tree limb.

    "I grabbed it and I just started to charge around the car to go help Melvin," he said.

    "I believe it was God who got me through it, he turned my fear into anger."

    The chimp charged him, he said, and he drove the end of the limb into its throat, then chased it away.

    Mammah looked like he was bleeding to death but refused to allow Brown to carry him, Brown said. He said he looked for the chimp and spotted it in the jungle, watching him. He could hear chimpanzees screaming all around them.

    Brown said he helped Mammah hobble down the road, where a military patrol found them and took them to a hospital.

    Later, a van pulled up with Kanu's mangled body in the boot of the car. Brown said he thought the other Americans were dead too.

    Kanus both hands and feet had been ripped off as well as his jaw torn from his head

    "I can't get it out of my mind," he said.

    Mammah lost all but two fingers on one hand, but is recovering in a Freetown hospital. The two other Americans escaped safely to the American Embassy.

    The other Americans all survived
  8. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

  9. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    I started the following topic last year and there are 40 replies that may be of interest to you.

    How Strong Is a Chimpanzee? Strong Is a Chimpanzee?
  10. Alan McDougall Alan McDougall Registered Senior Member

  11. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    I've seen some people go into uncontrollable rage before, and they do appear to be stronger at that moment. Must be an adrenalin moment caused by the uncontrollable rage. So if you take an animal that's already 3 to 5 times as strong as a human and give it an adrenalin boost, I sure as hell don't want to be close to it.

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  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    People say that sometimes you can mollify a bear by simply prostrating yourself on the ground and putting yourself at his mercy. This is a sign of respect. If he's not starving and doesn't need you as food, he might just give you a swat or a scratch and walk away, grinning about telling all his buddies about the human who acknowledged his superiority.

    The people who have gone off into the jungle and lived with gorillas found that respect was a powerful tool for them as well. But I have no idea if it would work with a chimpanzee.
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You're talking grizzlies, and it's not a "sign", and respect is not involved - it's an actual reduction of threat or, more likely, nuisance potential. If the bear is reacting to having been startled or threatened (especially its cubs), removing some of the threat might help.

    You are already at the mercy of any grizzly, and they know it.

    Bears signal respect in other ways - getting down on all fours, turning sideways, and "looking big", followed by moving away as if perceiving a "bigger looker", is one.

    Black bears are a different animal. Don't lay yourself down - bluff. Face them and hold still. And while we are talking about relative strength, we might note that an ordinary black bear like a big chimp is about the size of a person, but a hell of a lot stronger. The pattern is one of human relative weakness, for their size.
  14. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    In the first place, a "swat" from a grizzly bear could still easily kill you. You aren't supposed to try to "mollify" bears smaller than grizzlies, but confront them. While the odds will be heavily against you in a fight to the death with, say, a black bear, the fact of the matter is that you are big enough to present some risk of grievously injuring her in the process, and so unless you're threatening her cubs or something she has no reason to fight you to the death to begin with. She'd rather go pull fish out of a stream or eat berries. When it comes to black bears, you want to be as big, and loud, and threatening - and, preferably, in possession of fire - as possible. With grizzlies, you're better off playing dead.

    In the second place, bears don't have buddies. They are highly solitary animals, to the point of being almost totally asocial. Other than mothers who are raising cubs, bears operate alone.
  15. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    I'd rather have some pepper spray. After doing some research I found that pepper spray made to use against humans is much stronger than bear spray. I suspect because bears have such an acute sense of smell the stronger human spray might injure them permanently.

    One can only wonder what would happen if you pepper sprayed a pissed off chimp? I still wouldn't want to be very close to it.

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