- Chimps are apes like gorillas, orangutans and are genetically our closest relatives.
- Shares more than 98% of our genetic blue print.
- SizeAdults are 1 to 1.7 m tall.
Males – Weight 34 and 70 kg
Females (slightly smaller) – Weight 26 and 50 kg
- Chimps and bonobos are found in sub-Saharan Africa. Chimpanzees are found north of Congo river and is split in to 4 subspecies. Bonobo is found south of the Congo river and has not been split into any subspecies
- Central chimpanzee,Pan troglodytes troglodytes
- Western chimpanzee,P. troglodytes verus
- Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee,P. troglodytes ellioti
- Eastern chimpanzee,P. troglodytes schweinfurthii
- They are well adapted for climbing and swinging.
- Their arms are 1.5 times the height of an individual. Legs are shorter than are the arms.
- Also have Very long hands and fingers, with short thumbs.
- Feet are adapted for grasping, the big toe being opposable.
- Face is prognathic with prominent ears and prominent superorbital crest.
- Cranial capacity of these animals ranges from 320 to 480 cc.
- Lips protrude and are very flexible, allowing labial manipulation.
- Are social, diurnal animals, living in groups ranging in size from 15 to 150 members.
- They spend equal time on land and in trees, they do most of their feeding and sleeping in trees.
- It makes night nest in a tree and every chimpanzee sleeps in a separate nest only infants or juvenile chimpanzees sleep with their mothers
- An important activity in chimpanzee societies is social grooming.
- Chimps are highly hierarchical, dominant males have a stressful life to protect their positions. Adult males have sharp canine teeth.
- Using tools, modifying sticks and using them for hunting and acquiring honey, termites, ants, nuts and water.
- They are Omnivorous frugivore – they feed on leaves, leaf buds, seeds, blossoms, stems, pith, bark, resin, honey, soil, insects, birds and their eggs, and small to medium-sized mammals, including other primates.
- Chimps live more than 50 years and lose more hair as they age, and develop bald spots.
- Both males and females are known to mate with multiple partners, so they can be considered polygynandrous.
- Females and males enter puberty around the age of 7 years.
- Female chimpanzees in the wild give birth to their first offspring between the ages of 11 and 23 years. Mean Gestation period – 230 days. Litter size – single young is born, weighing about 2 kg. Females provide the bulk of parental care Weaning period – 3.5 to 4.5 years.
- Fifty years ago there were probably a million chimpanzees living in Africa. Today 170,000 – 300,000 individuals are estimated across its range.
- IUCN has enlisted chimps as endangered species.
- Habitat loss, poaching, and disease are the treats for their existence.