I call them apes, but they carried sticks and stones in their hands and jabbered talk to each other, and ended up by tyin' our hands with creepers, so they are ahead of any beast that I have seen in my wanderin's. Ape-men — that's what they are — Missin' Links, and I wish they had stayed missin'
— Lord John Roxton, The Lost World
Others "Doda" (the way the plateau natives refer to them)
Binomen Dryopithecus sp. (possibly, according to either Challenger or Summerlee)
Pithecanthropus sp.
(possibly, according to either Challenger or Summerlee)
Body type Anthropoid
Sentience Sentient
Sapience Sapient
Aggressivity Very High
Place of origin South America
Habitat Maple White Land
Diet Omnivorous (presumed)
Locomotion Bipedal
Status DD
Behind the Scenes
Universe The Lost World
Created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Ape-Men are a race of vicious anthropoid primates native to the South American jungle and known to inhabit the enigmatic plateau known as the Maple White Land. They were discovered by the 1911 expedition led by Prof. George Edward Challenger to explore the prehistoric life forms which still thrive upon this bizarre formation.


The Ape-Men are powerfully-built, tail-less bipeds, entirely covered in shaggy red fur. While they make their cities on ground level, they are also excellent climbers, and often hang on trees - a habit which allows them to observe their enemies while remaining entirely unseen by them. They have prehensile hands and feet, which aid in their arboreal ventures.

Despite their agility while moving on trees, the Ape-Men usually find themselves at considerable disadvantage on open terrain, as their heavy, stout bodies and short legs make them considerably slower than humans.

The exact classification of the Ape-Men is a mystery, as Challenger points out that South America - while home to numerous monkeys - has never been colonized by apes. However, both he and Summerlee nevertheless believe them to represent some form of prehistoric anthropoid, with both professors disagreeing on the exact genus - citing either Dryopithecus or Pithecanthropus as likely candidates. In any case, Challenger speculates that they're probably not native to the plateau, but have settled on it at some point after its geological isolation and prior to human arrival.


The Ape-Man inhabit a village of about a thousand huts, made "of branches and leaves in a great grove of trees near the edge of the cliff". Their language appears to be mostly based on gestures, but also incorporates spoken words.

The Ape-Men engage in vicious war against the human tribes which inhabit the plateau. As hostile creatures, they seem to take much delight in capturing and executing human prisoners.

It seems that the humans hold one side of this plateau [...] and the ape-men hold this side, and there is bloody war between them all the time. That's the situation, so far as I could follow it. Well, yesterday the ape-men got hold of a dozen of the humans and brought them in as prisoners.
— Lord John Roxton, The Lost World


  • The Lost World, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1912) (First appearance)
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