Humans and apes share a common ancestor and have similarities in their genetics. There are various categories of fighting, such as hand-to-hand combat, tool usage, and more. In this article, we will explore how humans compare to apes in terms of their physical strength, speed, senses, and intelligence. We will also compare humans to orangutans, chimpanzees, and gorillas.

Human Body and Limitations

Strength and Speed

While many people believe that humans are the dominant species on Earth, we are not physically as strong as many predators in the wild. On average, a human can lift between 60 kg and 80 kg (135 lb – 175 lb). However, the strongest human can lift up to 2840 kg (6270 lb). A punch from an average man has a force of 1600N to 2000N (450 – 360 pounds), while the UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou was able to punch 129,161 units in Powerkube, equivalent to 71697 Newtons of average force over the 25.2 m stopping distance.

While many animals can run faster than humans, we can keep our speed for a long distance. An average human can run at a speed of 10 km/h (6 mph), while Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, has reached 44.72 km/h.

Senses and Intelligence

Senses are crucial in a battle, and humans have some impressive sensory capabilities. We can see around one million colors, including wavelengths between infrared and ultraviolet. People with aphakia condition can even see ultraviolet as a blue-white color. We can also see infrared photons as a cool green, in special cases. Humans’ ears don’t have a larger frequency range than elephants, but our brains can do impressive things. We communicate via sound better than any animal because of our language abilities.

Now, let’s talk about the most impressive thing about humans: our intelligence. Humans are far more intelligent than any other animal on Earth. We have the ability to create tools, language, and culture. With methods like writing, human knowledge and discoveries are transferred to the next generation, making us better day by day.

Humans vs Orangutans

Orangutans are famous for their red fur, and they can be divided into Sumatran and Bornean orangutans. In a fight between humans and orangutans, both have advantages and disadvantages. Humans are usually faster and have more stamina, with a greater height and weight. We can do a stronger punch, and we are more intelligent. However, orangutans have stronger muscles and a stronger bite. They also have a higher pain tolerance, making them more resilient in a fight. Considering this, it would come down to the human and orangutan in a fight. If it’s a female orangutan and an adult male human, the chances are in the human’s favor. But if it’s a male orangutan, the probability of the human winning is low. Nonetheless, orangutans are peaceful creatures, and such fights are unlikely to occur.

Humans vs Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees are our closest cousins and live in the forests of Central Africa. They weigh between 40 kg and 60 kg and spend most of their time in trees. While chimpanzees are stronger than humans, they do not attack with punches. Instead, they bite the necessary organs, including the eyes, nose, lips, and hands. If they forget about their bite, they are still very fast. It is unlikely for a person to defeat a chimpanzee without any tool.

Humans vs Gorillas

Gorillas are the largest members of the great apes, and can weigh up to 200kg. A dominant male gorilla, called a ‘silverback,’ can have a height between 1.25m and 1.8m. Gorillas have tremendous strength and can lift 10 times their weight. They are also capable of throwing punches with a force between 5800N and 12,000N, which is far stronger than that of a human. There is no record of a human killing a gorilla with bare hands.

similarities between apes and humans

There are many similarities between apes and humans, both in terms of their physical characteristics and their behavior. Here are some of the most notable similarities:

  1. DNA: Humans and apes share a high percentage of DNA sequence similarity. In fact, chimpanzees share about 98% of their DNA with humans.
  2. Skeletal structure: Humans and apes both have similar skeletal structures, including the number of bones in their limbs, hands, and feet. They also have opposable thumbs, which allow for grasping objects.
  3. Brain structure: The brain structures of humans and apes are very similar. Both have large brains relative to their body size and complex cerebral cortexes, which are responsible for higher-level cognitive functions.
  4. Social behavior: Apes, like humans, are social animals and form complex social groups with hierarchies and social interactions. They also have the ability to recognize individuals and form long-term relationships.
  5. Communication: Both humans and apes use various forms of communication to interact with each other. Apes, like humans, have been observed using vocalizations, gestures, and facial expressions to convey meaning.
  6. Tool use: Many species of apes are known to use tools to aid in foraging and other activities. This is a behavior that was once thought to be unique to humans.

Overall, the similarities between apes and humans suggest that we share a common ancestor and have evolved in parallel over millions of years.

Great apes vs lesser apes

Great apes and lesser apes are two subfamilies of the family Hominidae, which includes all the living and extinct species of apes.

The great apes include gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans, while the lesser apes include gibbons and siamangs.

Here are some of the key differences between great apes and lesser apes:

  1. Size: Great apes are generally larger than lesser apes, with gorillas being the largest of all the apes. Lesser apes are much smaller, with gibbons and siamangs being about the size of a medium dog.
  2. Anatomy: Great apes have a number of anatomical features that distinguish them from lesser apes, including a wider and deeper chest, longer arms, and larger brain relative to body size. Lesser apes have shorter arms and a more narrow chest, and their brains are relatively smaller.
  3. Behavior: Great apes are known for their complex social behavior and intelligence, and they are capable of using tools and communicating with each other in sophisticated ways. Lesser apes also exhibit social behavior, but their communication and tool use is less advanced.
  4. Habitat: Great apes are found in tropical and subtropical forests in Africa and Asia, while lesser apes are found primarily in Southeast Asia.
  5. Conservation status: All species of great apes are listed as endangered or critically endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, and other threats. In contrast, some species of lesser apes are considered to be of least concern, while others are endangered or critically endangered.

Overall, while both great apes and lesser apes are members of the same family, they have many differences in their anatomy, behavior, habitat, and conservation status.


In conclusion, humans and apes have various differences in their abilities, with each species having its strengths and weaknesses.

Orangutans, chimpanzees, and gorillas are all formidable opponents, and a human may stand a little chance against an orangutan. However, it is unlikely that a human could defeat a chimpanzee or a gorilla without a tool.

Disclaimer – This article is for comparison purposes only and should not be used to encourage or promote violence towards animals.

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