They have sharp teeth, strong muscles and don’t like it when you sneak into their territories. But what makes primates even more dangerous is they are smart and more violent than other animals.
Today we’ll reveal the five deadliest primates on Earth and show you how some lucky people survived being attacked by these terrible beasts. Do you think you could outsmart them? Let’s find out.
Primates are one of the most diverse groups of mammals with more than 500 species, including humans. In proportion to their body weights, primates have the largest brains among terrestrial mammals. And if you are wondering, other primates are as violent as humans. They’re considered the most violent animals. Primates kill their own kind six times more often than an average mammal. If they can kill their neighbors, what’s to stop them from slaughtering you?
How much stronger are chimps than humans? How hard can a gorilla hit you? And can primates use weapons?
Number 5: Mandrills
These colorful monkeys live in Africa’s equatorial forests, roaming the territory searching for food. Males can be more than 1 m (3.3 ft) tall with strong limbs and 5 cm (2 in) canine teeth that can easily tear your flesh. The colors on males’ faces get more intense as testosterone levels rise in their bodies. If they start beating the ground in front of you and their faces get more colorful, they are ready to fight. Don’t run. They can chase you at 40 km/h (25 mph), more than six times faster than an average human. Instead, back off slowly and don’t make any sounds.
Number 4: Geladas
These unique primates live in the meadows of Ethiopia’s mountains. They are fast runners, expert climbers and violent attackers whose size is similar to mandrils and baboons. But geladas have a unique reddish area on their chests and enormous, sharp teeth they use to defend their herd. If a gelada looks at you and keeps rolling its lips fast and showing its teeth and gums, you’re in danger. Don’t try to run away, as they can run up to 45 km/h (30 mph). Back up slowly, and don’t lose sight of the gelada.
Number 3: Baboons
Baboons live in the savanna and other semi-arid areas of Africa and Arabia. When they are looking for food, they can be really aggressive. In 2011, the infamous baboon called Fred terrorized tourists and residents of Cape Town, South Africa. Fred learned to break into cars and homes, and he attacked people in his wild quest for food. When authorities finally put the animal down, they discovered that it had been shot 50 times during its reign of terror. Yes, baboons can be dangerous. Never try to feed them, as they are opportunistic eaters and can get very violent when looking for food. If they chase you, give them what they want and walk away.
Number 2: Gorillas
Gorillas live in the rainforests of Central Africa and have climbed so high on our list by being the largest primate on the planet. They can be up to 1.80 m (6 ft) tall and weigh up to 200 kg (440 lb). Yes, some humans can be as tall and heavy, but never as strong. They can lift 900 kg (1,900 lb) and punch you with 450 kg (900 lb) of force. You don’t want to start a fight with suck a match, right? They react to hierarchy, so if the alpha male sees you as a threat, it will try to fight you off. Your only chance is to show that you’re not a rival. Make yourself smaller, kneel down, and don’t look him in the eye.
Number 1: Chimpanzees
Welcome to the home of the most dangerous primate. Chimps live in Central and West Africa, and among the great apes they have the widest range. They can be 1.7 m (5.5 ft) tall and are really strong, but not as strong as many people think. For decades, scientists thought that chimps were five to eight times stronger than humans. It seems that was the result of a poorly designed study. Further studies confirmed that chimps are about 1.5 times stronger than humans. That’s still a huge difference. They share 98% of our genes, and yes, they use weapons. Chimps throw projectiles and use spears and sturdy objects to harm other creatures. But the weapon you really want to avoid is the mouth. If they attack you, they will try to maim you.
In 2009, a woman was attacked by a friend’s pet chimpanzee named Travis in Connecticut. Before the police shot him dead, the beast mutilated her hands and tore off her face. Fortunately, she survived, but if you find yourself in a similar situation, the first thing you should do is try to de-escalate. Showing your teeth together is a sign of submission for primates. But if that doesn’t work, do what you can to get away from its mouth, but don’t use your hands, it can easily cut them off.
Oh, boy. That was close. Fortunately, the 2% of our genes that differentiates us from other primates saved you this time. But what happens when you’re attacked by another human? Could you also survive being locked up with some of the deadliest people?
- “Baboons | National Geographic”. 2022. Animals.
- “Canine Length In Wild Male Baboons: Maturation, Aging And Social Dominance Rank“. Galbany, Jordi, Jenny Tung, Jeanne Altmann, and Susan C. Alberts. 2015.
- “Are Mandrills Dangerous? – Untamedanimals.Com“. 2021. Untamedanimals.Com.
- “How To Survive Gorilla And Other Primate Attacks – Safety Basics“. 2020. Stone Age Man.
- “Gelada | National Geographic“. 2022. Animals.