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Hyperprimates are particular species of Earth apes (other than humans) uplifted to human-level sapience and some human behavioural characteristics by genetic manipulation and engineering.

In the Epsilon Eridani system, many of them perform various menial occupations, service jobs and related work on the Glitter Band (later the Rust Belt) of habitats and settlements in orbit around Yellowstone. They are noted to have powerful employee unions behind them, possibly as part of their hard-won rights. Many criminals or shady types even outright fear getting on the wrong side of hyperprimates or harming them, as it could lead to huge fines and criminal investigation.

In the Revelation Space series, three ape species are seen uplifted to hyperprimate status: Orangutans, gorillas and gibbons. (It is unclear if there are any more beyond these three examples.) Hyperprimates are seen as capable of sign language (a skill apes have also learned in the present day) and even some human-like vocalisation. However, their vocalisation in the manner of a human seems actually cruder than that of the hyperpigs (who are generally able to talk in the same manner as humans).





  • Their only major appearances are in the novel Redemption Ark, where they are represented by various hyperprimate employees of Carousel New Copenhagen. These include orangutan and silverback (gorilla) ship maintenance personnel, gibbon waiters, etc. A group of local hyperprimate mechanics play an important role in one chapter, when they help protect Antoinette Bax and Xavier Liu from extortion threats.
  • None of the hyperprimate characters that have appeared in the series have been named.
  • Due to the close evolutionary relationship to humans, hyperprimates are some of the very few humanoid-shaped sapient species in the Revelation Space universe. A non-ape example are the hyperpigs, which are chimeras of pig and human features and secondarily humanoid, while the only true alien humanoids in the entire series are the Amarantin, whose physiognomy is more avian, similar to that of birds or some non-avian dinosaurs.
  • Apes and other non-human (usually mammalian) creatures uplifted to human levels of sapience and tool-using ability is a fairly seasoned and recurring theme/concept in science fiction. The most famous examples of this are the various adaptations of French writer Pierre Boulle's 1960s novel Planet of the Apes (though the original novel does not feature intentional uplifting), and the works of David Brin's Upflift space opera series, which featured uplifted chimpanzees. The latter also coined the moniker "uplift" for the process of raising an already intelligent non-human creature's sapience and overall intelligence.


See also[]

Species and lifeforms
Sapient species: Humans | Denizens* | Hyperpigs* | Hyperprimates*
Other species: Earth flora | Earth fauna

Amarantin | Grubs | Inhibitors ("Wolves") | Jumper Clowns
Nestbuilders | Scuttlers | Shrouders | Slugs

Hamadryad | Pattern Jugglers**
Screech Mat | Setterholm’s Worms | Slime Scraper

* - created via genetic engineering
** - colony lifeforms of dubious classification