Facts and Knowledge:
The intelligent and lively, the sociable chimpanzee shows an ability to learn as well as to act instinctively. Its behavior could provide a clue to that of our early ancestors. The chimpanzee is the animal that resembles man most closely It shares familiar human characteristics such as problem solving abilities, a high degree of parental care, and a variety of facial expressions.
Habits: The chimpanzee lives in a troop that numbers between 25 and 80. each troop has a dominant male. The troop's home range varies in size from 7 - 8 square miles in the forest to 40 - 75 square miles in open country. Active by day, the chimpanzee sleeps at night in a nest it makes in a tree, well above ground, safe from its predators. The same nest may be used for several nights if the troop is not on the move. Chimps stay mainly in trees during the wet season and on the ground when it is dry.
Breeding: Breeding takes place year round. When one of the females in the group comes into season, or heat, she will mate with several different males. The males show no sign of competition between themselves. Females have menstrual cycles much like humans and come into estrus every 36 days unless they are pregnant. They give birth about every 3 years later gestation period of seven to eight months.
The young is carried everywhere for its first five months and is dependent on its mothers for two years. By the time the youngster is four years old, it spends most of its time with other chimpanzees close to its own age. It reaches sexual maturity at eight to ten years old.
Food & Feeding: The chimp has two intensive feeding periods each day. early morning and late afternoon. Fruits of all kinds make up the majority of the chimpanzee's diet. IT will also eat insects and honey. It gets most of the water it needs from fruit. It was only recently discovered that the chimpanzee eats meat. It is now known that it hunts, kills, and feeds on a variety of mammals, including other primates such as the colobus monkey, blue monkeys and baboons. The killing is almost always done by one adult male who smashes the animals head on the ground. The male eats his fill before sharing with the rest of the troop.
Chimpanzee's and Man: The chimpanzee's
survival is more threatened by man than by anything else. Chimpanzees
were driven away from when large human populations took over their habitats.
Today, hunting and trapping chimpanzees for zoos and experimental use is
a highly profitable business in several parts of Africa. Because
of their biological and behavioral similarities to humans, chimpanzees
have been used extensively for testing drugs. There is a growing
opposition to this practice, but it is still widespread.
Key Facts: Sizes, Weight, breeding, lifestyle,
Shoulder Height:Males; 5 1/2 ft, Females 4 1/2 ft
Weight: 100 - 175lbs
Sexual Maturity: 8 - 10 years
Mating: Female mates when previous offspring is about 3 years old.
Gestation: 202 - 261 days
No of young: 1 or 2
Habit: Sociable, in small troops.
Diet: Mainly fruit, but also leaves, buds, blossoms, bark, resin, honey, termites, and ants. Occasionally other mammals.
Life span: 40 - 50 years
Related Species: The pigmy chimpanzee,
Pan paniscus, found in Zaire
Distribution: In Africa, from Guinea to western Uganda and Tarzania, in forest and savannah country.
Conservation: Not endangered at present, except in a few locations. Trapping for medical experiments once posted the greatest threat to the chimpanzee, but this danger is now decreasing under pressure of public opinion.
Facial Expressions of the Chimpanzee:
Like humans chimpanzees can use their faces to show emotion. Researchers have discovered that they have a wide range of expressions, conveying several different emotions.
Passive expressions: The chimpanzee is calm and at ease.
Friendly expression: A chimpanzee greets another peacefully.
Aggressive expression: The chimp is showing anger or warning a rival not to further annoy him.
Pleased expression: This smiling face showing only the bottom teeth, conveys active enjoyment or pleasure.
Did you know:
Chimpanzees suffer from many human diseases, including malaria.
Chimpanzees are the only animals, apart from humans, that an recognize themselves in mirrors.