Genetically Human's Closest Relatives








Species: Troglodytes

Common Name:Chimpanzee


The Chimpanzee is a species of apes that is originally found in a variety of different habitats in western Africa. The Chimpanzee is genetically the closest relatives to humans, sharing 98% of the same DNA. Chimps are also very closely related to other great apes including Orang-Utans and Gorillas. Chimpanzee's tend to be found in regions from tropical, humid rain forests to the dryer and more arid regions of the savanna and open woodlands in central and western Africa.

Chimps are omnivores, meaning they generally eat fruits and plants. However they also consume insects, eggs, and meats, including carrion. Some of the insects they consume include ants and termites. Chimps are one of the few animals that use tools in their every day lives. They use sticks that they shaped to get insects from their nests and dig grub out of logs. They also use stones to smash open tasty nuts and use leaves as sponges to soak up drinking water. When working together, Chimps can even kill monkeys birds, and even small antelopes. Chimps normally move around on all fours (hands and feet), however they can also stand and walk upright just like humans. They are also great climbers and can move quite efficiently in trees, by swinging from branch to branch. Chimps actually do most of their eating in trees, and also tend to sleep in them at night, making themselves a nest of leaves. Trees also offer chimps protection from predators, because of their great climbing abilities, they are able to quickly flee from any enemy trying to harm them.

Chimps live in groups, or communities, of sizes ranging from 15 to 120 chimps depending of the habitat and amount of food. Chimps are highly territorial and do not tolerate outsiders, often killing an individual that is from another group. The dominant males of groups dont necessarily have to be the strongest but have to be able to rally together the most supporters

Endangered Status

Chimpanzees today are classified as endangered in their natural habitats and soon face the threat of being extinct. It is estimated that their could be as few as 100,000 chimps left in Africa, with the population having declined rapidly in the last 30 years. As forest continue to be destroyed by humans, chimps get pushed into smaller and more isolated regions of their once vast natural area which is leading to even more population decline. As of right now, nothing is really being done to help the chimpanzees, so as every day goes by, more and more chimpanzees are loosing their homes and lives, causing the population to continue shrinking day by day.

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Chimps tend to grow between heights of 3.3ft- 5.5ft and can weigh up to 154 pounds. Chimps can move up to a speed of 25 miles per hour and usually live between 50 to 60 years old. Female chimps can mate once they reach the age of 13 while male chimps need to wait until they are 16 years of age to be classified as an adult. Chimps also use 30 distinct calls with which they use to communicate with other members of the group in their daily lives. Some fun facts are that chimpanzees can be heard 2km away, they have 32 teeth including fang-like canines, and they can even recognize themselves in the mirror!
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Chimpanzees dont have many predators due to the fact that they can live both on ground and on trees. Whenever they are being attacked on land, They can quickly climb up a tree and escape from the predator. Also when they are being attacked in the trees, they can quickly just climb down the tree to safety from the animal. Their fast movement from trees to trees and ability to climb quickly up and down the trees serve as a good defense towards dangerous predators. However animals that live both on the ground and on trees serve a great risk towards Chimps. One of these ground and trees animals includes a leopard, that are very fast moving and extremely fierce. Large species of Snakes and other primates, even sometimes other chimpanzees, tend to be predators towards these chimps.
100 Retired Lab Chimps See Sky for First Time