They might not be as evolved as the talking apes in that famous sci-fi movie franchise, but primates are quite intelligent, with behaviors that underscore their closeness to humans on the evolutionary scale. The two-hour Animal Planet special "The Real Apes of the Planet" illustrates the point with examples of behaviors that remind us of our own as it introduces the myriad members of the family of primates.

The beautifully shot documentary, which premieres on Oct. 21, reveals surprising things about our nearest relatives — specifically chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos. Here are 12 facts that we resonated with us:

An orangutan and its child

(Photo: Courtesy of Animal Planet/Mark McEwen)

1. Orangutans (above) have the longest childhood of any animal in the world. Babies nurse until they're 6 years old and typically stay with their mother for several more years; females do so until their teens.

A macaques enjoys a bath in a hot springs

(Photo: Courtesy of Animal Planet/Victoria Buckley)

2. The macaques, or snow monkeys, of northern Japan have thick coats and hot springs to keep them warm. Status in the tribe determines who gets to soak and where.

A tarsier

(Courtesy of Animal Planet/Photo: Mark McEwen)

3. A nocturnal primate, the tiny tarsier has enormous eyes — as large as its brain — that enable it to see at night.

A rhesus macaque takes a leap

(Photo: Courtesy of Animal Planet/Giles Badger)

4. Rhesus macaques give new meaning to monkeyshine and mischief in general. These creatures have overrun villages in India, breaking into homes to steal food and high-diving off buildings for a swim.

A howler monkey in a tree

(Photo: Courtesy of Animal Planet/Giles Badger)

5. The howler monkey is aptly named: its roar can reach 90 decibels and can be heard a mile away.

A mandrill

(Photo: Courtesy of Animal Planet/Mark McEwen)

6. The mandrill, with its distinctive muzzle, is the largest monkey on Earth. Dominant "alpha" males have the brightest pigmentation.

A long-tailed macaques uses string to floss its teeth

(Photo: Courtesy of Animal Planet/Mark McEwen)

7. Long-tailed macaques are quite clever, making their own tools to do tasks like opening shellfish. They've been known to pluck hairs from the head of a human to use as dental floss.


(Photo: Courtesy of Animal Planet/Rosie Thomas)

8. For Bonobos, "make love, not war" is the mantra. Rather than fight, they use intercourse — including the same-sex variety — to resolve disputes and solve problems.

Two capuchins

(Photo: Courtesy of Animal Planet/Rosie Thomas)

9. Considered the most intelligent New World monkeys, capuchins use tools, can recognize mirror images of themselves, and learn quickly, which is why Hollywood often casts them — consider "Friends" or "Night at the Museum." They even make their own insect repellent from crushed millipedes.

Barbary macaque

(Photo: Courtesy of Animal Planet/Mark McEwen)

10. The Barbary macaques of Gibraltar are the only population of wild monkeys in Europe, numbering around 300. As a precaution, feeding them is punishable by a $800 fine, an effort to prevent them from becoming dependent on humans.

A male gelada

(Photo: Courtesy of Animal Planet/Claire Thompson)

11. The male gelada has a distinctive red patch on his chest. The more vivid it is, the more virile he's considered.

A chimpanzee

(Photo: Courtesy of Animal Planet/Mark McEwen)

12. Chimpanzees are the closest living relatives to humans, with 99 percent of their DNA in common. They use tools, have complex social hierarchies and relationships, and can be taught sign language.

12 fascinating facts about apes and monkeys
'The Real Apes of the Planet' gets intimate with our evolutionary cousins.