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The White Apes are a feared race of semi-intelligent, gorilla-like monsters who inhabit the wilds of Barsoom.
They are large creatures with an average height of 12 to 15 feet, though some are known to be as small as eight feet. Like the Green Martians, they possess two sets of arms, the lower arms serving either as extra hands or extra feet, but they prefer to walk on two legs. As with almost all other Martian fauna, they are almost completely hairless, save for a shock of white hair on top of their heads.
The White Apes are incredibly violent creatures, it is said that they are one of the primary causes of death amongst martian children. But they are also somewhat sociable, gathering in mating pairs, or even tribes.
They are also incredibly intelligent. They are known to use weapons such as clubs, or even wear the skin of animals such as Banths. The also seem to be partially reasonable creatures.
Hovan Du who possessed half the brain of a white ape managed to negotiate with a group of these creatures for safe passage, in exchange for Paxton and his companion leaving the gate to Thavas' lab open. Paxton asked Hovan Du why the apes requested this, but Hovan Du only replied that the apes' reasons were their own.
The white apes have two primary habitats, the dead cities of Barsoom, and the few remaining fertile areas on the planet particularly the Toonolian Marshes and the Valley Dor.
- The White Apes are one of the few Barsoomian creatures not given a name, odd considering that they are likely the most common creature in the series. In the non-canon anthology New Adventures on Barsoom they are given the name Ilthur.
- According to the non-canon story A Friend in Thark, the white apes are the only viviparous animal on Barsoom, that is to say giving birth to live young.