A baboon named Jackie during World War 1 participated in action, sustained several wounds, had his leg amputated, was promoted to corporal and received Pretoria Citizen’s Service Medal.
When introducing Golf to India, the British were angered by monkeys running onto the course and playing with their golf balls. When all attempts to stop the monkeys failed, they decided the game needed to adapt. To do so they introduced a new rule: "Play the ball where the monkey drops it."
A Chimpanzee named Julie, started a fashion trend among the other apes in her group in 2010 by sticking a hair of grass in her ear. The style caught on shortly after the act.
A bonobo named Kanzi once asked for "fire" and "marshmallows" using lexigrams while on a hike in the woods. His trainer gave him matches and some marshmallows. He proceeded to break twigs, made a fire, and roasted the marshmallows over it.
66% of orangutans are left-handed.
There is an extinct genus of ape named Gigantopithecus blacki, which stood at nearly 3 meters (nearly 10 feet tall), weighed as much as 540 kg and actually lived alongside humans for tens of thousands of years.
A monkey called Ramu in India was put in prison for 5 years for biting a child. After his release, he bit a child again and was imprisoned again. Since Ramu is a rhesus macaque, an endangered species, the police was not allowed to keep him as a pet or behind bars, so he was released into the wild.
A 2005 a study was conducted that taught capuchin monkeys the value of money using small silver coins. During the experiment, a monkey was observed trading a coin for sex and the monkey who received the coin promptly traded it for a grape.
Chacma baboon mothers constantly have their babies killed by other baboons, so to protect their young, they become "friends" with male baboons by forming a nonsexual bond with them, which leads to the male baboon protecting the mother and her baby from other baboons.
Researchers working with Kanzi (a bonobo who communicates using a keypad with symbols) claim his favorite movies are ones that blur the boundaries between humans and apes such as Planet of the Apes and Quest for Fire.
Female orangutans will seek protection of larger males from sexual harassment of smaller males.
In 2007, it took 35 policemen armed with AK47s to rescue a shaved orangutan named Pony that was being used as a sex slave in a Borneo brothel.
In the 1970's, a chimp named Nim Chimpsky was raised by a human family and taught sign language to challenge Noam Chomsky's theory that only humans have language. Nim's longest sentence was “Give orange me give eat orange me eat orange give me eat orange give me you.”
A baboon gang roamed around Cape Town, led by Fred the baboon, and were pursued for 3 years by police after they became notorious for raiding cars, assaulting and interfering with tourists.
The English village of Uley adopted a lowland gorilla which was captured in Gabon after French poachers shot its parents. The gorilla, named John Daniel, was raised as a boy, made his own bed, played with children, and drank tea.
In Thailand, pigtailed macaques are trained to harvest coconuts. Males can harvest up to 1,600 coconuts in one day, while their human overlords can only harvest about 80.
A study found that poo flinging chimps are more intelligent than those that do not. They have more heightened development in the motor cortex, more connections between it and the Broca’s area, and are better communicators in the group.
Japanese macaques wash their food in saltwater before they eat in order to both clean it and enhance the taste. They also make snowballs for fun.
In 2007, a gorilla named Bokito escaped from his exhibit, grabbed and mauled a nearby woman, and then attacked a restaurant. It was later revealed the reason behind the rampage was a woman who made eye contact and smiled at him several times a week, which zookeepers told her not to do.
A species of monkey named Gelada are capable of 'cheating' on their partners and covering up their 'infidelity' by suppressing their normal mating cries so as not to be overheard.
Mountain gorillas are in a semi-permanent state of flatulence due to the large amounts of gas produced from bacteria aiding their digestion.
Orangutans can learn sign language and even adapt it to reflect their understanding of the world better. One orangutan named Chantek even referred to an orangutan he'd never met before as an “orange dog”, and for his contact lens solution as “eye-drink.”
In the 1980s when a baboon troop was hit by an outbreak of tuberculosis killing all of its aggressive alpha males, the remaining passive males which were bullied by previous alpha males transformed the troop from an aggressive and violent troop into a peaceful one, which was never observed before.
A monkey discovered in 2010 was named the Burmese sneezing monkey because it sneezes uncontrollably when it rains.
Humans are not the only primate that curse. Chimps do it to. In project Washoe, chimps being taught sign language internalized taboos around the toilet, with the sign “dirty” representing something shameful. They started using that sign as an admonition or to express anger, like a swear word.
Monkeys display metacognitive abilities, which means that they are aware of their own thought process and knowledge, and seek to actively control it.
In 1986, when a 5-year-old boy fell into a gorilla enclosure and lost consciousness, a male gorilla named Jambo stood between the boy and the other gorillas in a protective gesture, he even stroke the boy's back. This incident helped create a positive public perception of gorillas.
When the dominant male in a troop of gorillas dies or is killed, then the troop will go their separate ways and find new groups to be a part of. However, if a younger male challenges the leader and wins then he becomes the new leader and the troop stays intact.
Mike, the lowest ranking member of a chimp group became the alpha male of the community overnight. He stole empty kerosene can from the researcher’s camp, and banged them to scare the other chimps.
An orangutan named Chantek was raised as a human, went to college, and eventually referred to himself as an "orangutan person".
An orangutan named Fu Manchu at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska repeatedly escaped from his cage at the zoo after learning to pick locks using a key he had fashioned from a piece of wire. Every time his zookeepers inspected him, he hid the key in his mouth. He was made an honorary member of the American Association of Locksmiths.
Zookeepers in Spain installed a TV set in their chimp Gina's cage and then taught her how to use the remote. While channel surfing, Gina discovered the porn station, to which she became addicted.
There's an island called Monkey Island off the coast of Puerto Rico, where the monkeys naturally have Herpes B, which can kill humans. So the first rule of Monkey Island is "don't get peed on".
There was a gorilla named Michael who learned sign language and once described what it was like to watch his mother be killed by poachers.
Washoe the chimp (the first non-human who was taught sign language) became self-aware while staring into a mirror. She also appeared to experience an identity crisis when she was first introduced to other chimpanzees, seeming shocked to learn that she was not human.
During the late 1800s, a baboon named Jack was employed by the railroad as a signalman. He never once made a mistake and worked for the railroad until his death.
While chimpanzees can be violent, mankind's closest relative --the bonobo-- has never once been observed killing another member of the same species.
On the Japanese island of Yakushima, macaque monkeys can be seen riding deer for transportation, and in return they groom deer and share food with them.
Capuchin monkeys reject fruit from researchers if they consider it inferior to the fruit being received by its peers.