- Hylobatidae, also known as the 'lesser apes', which consists of 13 different species of gibbons
- Hominidae, also known as the 'great apes', which consists of orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans
Most modern apes have a fairly thick covering of hair over most of their bodies, with humans being a notable exception (they do have a covering of hair, but, for most, it's so thin, it's virtually unnoticeable). Lesser apes are generally fairly small and agile, able to swing from branch to branch in trees at speeds of up to 35 mph, whereas the great apes tend to spend more time on the ground and travel by walking (though they still do climb trees as a normal part of their behaviour, for one reason or another). Lesser apes also differ from greater apes in that lesser apes generally do not make nests (or, in the case of humans, houses), and more closely resemble monkeys than the great apes do.
The calls of the lesser apes can be very complex, and are generally used to indicate territory, as mating calls, or to advertise pair bonds. Many great apes are generally very quiet, and, even on occasions when they are not, they generally make noise by banging large branches around or beating their chest. Although their vocalisations can be quite complex, they are usually not as much so as humans or the lesser apes.
Grooming is also very important to apes, and a great deal of time is spent on this, with an ape allowing another to groom him or her usually being a sign of companionship or trust.
Great apes are also generally more intelligent than most other animals, to the degree that they have been known to use tools. For example, chimpanzees have been known to thrust sticks into termite mounds, in order to eat the termites that are on the stick when they pull it back out; orangutans have been known to hold large leaves over their heads to keep the rain off them, much like umbrellas; and humans have been known to send communication satellites into geostationary orbit to allow them to watch Laverne and Shirley anywhere in the world.