Monkeys have a perfect blend of agility, intelligence, and massive strength. They are often compared to humans due to their structure and behaviors.

The studies on monkeys and their activities have drawn a relevant link of similarities with humans in several aspects.

And through various stages of research, one thing that has stood out is their physical strength.

Moreover, it is related to a ‘certain species of monkeys’. During the initial phase several years back, these studies brought us to one of the most crucial questions:

Are Monkeys Stronger than Humans? If Yes, what magnitude and parameters brought us to this conclusion?

This article will examine this question associated with humans’ closest relatives in the animal kingdom.

Are Monkeys Stronger than Humans?

Are Monkeys Stronger than Humans?

Since the evolution of mankind, humans have grown extremely well in endurance and brainpower. Today, we have almost everything to fulfill our needs.

With technological advancements, we have reached the highest place on Earth and learned about the deepest point on the planet.

However, regarding our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, monkeys have evolved to develop exceptional physical strengths.

Often understood differently, this strength is crucial for them to survive in the wild.

This helps them perform activities like climbing, making living arrangements, and saving themselves from predators.

At first, such a comparison between humans and monkeys will sound weird on several notes; you might also question that.

But to specify, this parallel between monkeys and humans is not only about raw strength.

However, it also includes the various evolutionary paths that have finally given their existing physical abilities.

Going deep into the list will elongate the detailing to a different magnitude. Therefore, we will keep it straight with ‘Chimpanzees’ to narrow it down.

Several studies have found that chimps possess exceptional abilities. In the segment following, we will take a look at the rationale behind it.

Chimpanzee’s Super Strength and the Evolution

Chimpanzee's Super Strength and the Evolution

Chimpanzees’ abilities and strength have been reported widely since the 1920s.

However, several studies denote that the performance differential between chimpanzees and humans is just 1.5 times.

Various hypotheses showed that these differences are associated with muscle mechanics.

Here, we have tried to present the direct measurements of chimpanzee skeletal muscle and their properties with that of humans to give you a detailed picture.

This difference in performance among chimpanzees is primarily because of their higher fast-twitch fiber content.

However, a separate research team has reported that the dynamic force output in the chimps is 1.35 times higher than the human.

This difference is denoted extremely “modest” on the accounts and at par with the chimp’s “super strength,” which is several times stronger than that of humans.

While discussing monkeys’ impressive abilities and evolutionary paths, exploring their playful and amusing side is also fun.

For a lighthearted twist, check out our collection of ‘monkey jokes for kids.’

These jokes not only entertain but also provide a fun way to engage children in learning about our primate cousins

Explanation of the Modest Force Output

To defend the explanations above, renowned biochemist Brian Umberger from the University of Massachusetts Amherst has presented here.

He stipulates that this modest performance advantage among the chimps was merely not due to the stronger muscle fibers found in them.

Rather, this kind of advantage was due to the availability of a different mix of muscle fibers in them compared to humans.

Brian Umberger and his team started by thoroughly analyzing the scientific texts and publications that revealed a wide range of estimations regarding the average number of times that chimpanzees are stronger than humans, roughly 1.5 times.

However, according to Umberger, obtaining this figure from different data required a lot of analysis from him and his team, accounting for differences between procedures, subjects, and so on.

Umberger and other researchers in their study further noted, “While 1.5 times is far less than anecdotal stories of chimpanzees being several times stronger, it is still a significant difference, and addressing it could contribute to our understanding of the early evolution of the human musculoskeletal system.”

The Muscle Distribution: Chimpanzees vs Humans

The Muscle Distribution Chimpanzees vs Humans

To reach a consensus on what stands at the fore on the comparison and the muscle distribution among the chimps and humans.

Dr. Matthew O’Neill conducted a separate study from The University of Arizona College of Medicine to determine why Chimpanzees are so powerful.

To begin the study, the skeletal muscle fibers of three young male chimpanzees were taken.

These samples were then compared to the human skeletal muscle fibers.

The distribution of the muscle fibers was the major difference between the two supercreatures.

Among chimpanzees, 1/3rd of the muscles are slow twitch fibers, while the other 2/3rd comprise the two types of fast twitch muscle fibers.

Fast-twitch muscles fatigue more quickly but contract with more force in short bursts. This explains why chimpanzees can move quickly both up and down small distances.

On average, humans have 70 percent slow twitch and 30 percent fast twitch muscle fiber. This gives us greater endurance but less strength in bursts.

Subsequent Argument on Strength: Chimpanzees vs Humans

Many of these conversations lead us to the argument about the practicality and the use we make with our muscles.

With a few exceptions, we humans are often described as weak and unathletic compared to chimpanzees, who are regarded as our closest in the animal kingdom.

Although chimpanzees are skilled climbers and arborealists, our ancestors abandoned their dependence on the forest canopy long back when we emerged as a species.

Later, the developments in tools and other materials and improvements in brain size and practicality eventually lessened the strict need for muscular power for survival and fitness.

Considering all the given ideas and rationales together, we reach a particular consensus as to what makes chimpanzees stronger than us.


This article is a compiled version of various scientific research on the chimps and what makes them such a strong force.

Another prime example of monkeys being stronger than humans is the spider monkey, well-known for their agility.

However, it is worth mentioning that the ability of humans surpasses that of monkeys on various other fronts.

This primarily includes overall muscle mass and endurance. The main reason behind monkeys evolving this level of unique strength is because of their adaptation to wildlife.

We have developed our abilities to make our lives easy and better by using advanced tools and incorporating other problem-solving skills.

Keeping all the scientific principles under check, we hope this detailed guide on “What Monkeys Are Stronger than Humans?” has justified the matter in the best possible manner.

Sarah Nguyen

Sarah Nguyen is a passionate advocate for early childhood education. She holds a Master of Education from the University of Manchester. Sarah's career has spanned over two decades in various roles, including preschool teacher, curriculum developer, and child development researcher. She is an acknowledged figure for her practical insights and evidence-based approach through her writing and has helped parents and educators understand the crucial stages of early development. Outside her professional life, Sarah is an avid reader and enjoys exploring the British countryside with her family.

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