Conservation Status:  Endangered
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    against killing, capturing, and eating chimpanzees and gorillas.
  • Jane Goodall :What separates Us From The Apes?


Chimpanzee Fact Sheet from Born Free
Chimpanzee, often shortened to chimp, is the common name for the two extant
species in the genus Pan. The better known chimpanzee is Pan troglodytes, the Common
Chimpanzee, living primarily in West, and Central Africa. Its cousin, the Bonobo or "Pygmy
Chimpanzee" as it is known archaically, Pan paniscus, is found in the forests of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Congo River forms the boundary between the two
species. Chimpanzees are members of the Hominidae family, along with gorillas, humans,
and orangutans.
A fully grown adult male chimpanzee can weigh from 35-70 kg (75-155 pounds)
and stand 0.9-1.2 metres (3-4 feet) tall, while females usually weigh 26-50 kg
(57-110 pounds) and stand 0.66-1 metres (2.0-3.5 feet) tall.  Chimpanzees rarely live
past the age of 40 in the wild, but have been known to reach the age of 60 in
captivity. Cheeta, star of Tarzan is still alive as of 2007 at the age of 75, making him
the oldest known chimpanzee in the world.

Anatomical differences between the Common Chimpanzee and the Bonobo are
slight, but in sexual and social behaviour there are marked differences. Common
Chimpanzees have an omnivorous diet, a troop hunting culture based on beta
males led by an alpha male, and highly complex social relationships; Bonobos, on
the other hand, have a mostly herbivorous diet and an egalitarian, matriarchal,
sexually receptive behaviour. The exposed skin of the face, hands and feet varies
from pink to very dark in both species, but is generally lighter in younger
individuals, darkening as maturity is reached. Bonobos have proportionately
longer upper limbs and tend to walk upright more often than the Common
Chimpanzee. A University of Chicago Medical Centre study has found significant
genetic differences between chimpanzee populations. Different groups of
Chimpanzees also have different cultural behaviour with preferences for types of

Africans have had contact with chimpanzees for millennia. Chimpanzees have
been kept as domesticated pets for centuries in a few African villages, especially
in Congo. The first recorded contact of Europeans with chimps took place in
present-day Angola during the 1600s. The diary of Portuguese explorer Duarte
Pacheco Pereira (1506), preserved in the Portuguese National Archive (Torre do
Tombo), is probably the first European document to acknowledge that
chimpanzees built their own rudimentary tools.

The first use of the name "chimpanzee", however, did not occur until 1738. The
name is derived from a Tshiluba language term "kivili-chimpenze", which is the
local name for the animal and translates loosely as "mockman" or possibly just
"ape". The colloquialism "chimp" was most likely coined some time in the late
1870s.  Biologists applied Pan as the genus name of the animal.  Chimps as well as
other apes had also been purported to have been known to Western writers in
ancient times, but mainly as myths and legends on the edge of Euro-Arabic
societal consciousness, mainly through fragmented and sketchy accounts of
European adventurers. Apes are mentioned variously by Aristotle, as well as the

Humans and chimpanzees share similar ticklish areas of the body, such as the
armpits and belly. The enjoyment of tickling in chimpanzees does not diminish with
age.  A chimpanzee laughter sample.
Goodall 1968 & Parr 2005
The 20th century saw a new age of scientific research into chimpanzee behaviour. Prior to 1960, almost nothing
was known about chimpanzee behaviour in their natural habitat. In July of that year, Jane Goodall set out to
Tanzania's Gombe forest to live among the chimpanzees. Her discovery that chimpanzees made and used tools
was groundbreaking, as humans were previously believed to be the only species to do so. The most progressive
early studies on chimpanzees were spearheaded primarily by Wolfgang Köhler and Robert Yerkes, both of whom
were renowned psychologists. Both men and their colleagues established laboratory studies of chimpanzees
focused specifically on learning about the intellectual abilities of chimpanzees, particularly problem-solving. This
typically involved basic, practical tests on laboratory chimpanzees, which required a fairly high intellectual
capacity (such as how to solve the problem of acquiring an out-of-reach banana). Notably, Yerkes also made
extensive observations of chimpanzees in the wild which added tremendously to the scientific understanding of
chimpanzees and their behaviour. Yerkes studied chimpanzees until World War II, while Köhler concluded five years
of study and published his famous Mentality of Apes in 1925 (which is coincidentally when Yerkes began his
analyses), eventually concluding that "chimpanzees manifest intelligent behaviour of the general kind familiar in
human beings ... a type of behaviour which counts as specifically human" (1925).

Common Chimpanzees have been known to attack humans on occasion.   There have been many attacks in
Uganda by chimpanzees against human children; the results are sometimes fatal for the children. Some of these
attacks are presumed to be due to chimpanzees being intoxicated (from alcohol obtained from rural brewing
operations) and mistaking human children[9] for the Western Red Colobus, one of their favourite meals.  The
dangers of careless human interactions with chimpanzees are only aggravated by the fact that many chimpanzees
perceive humans as potential rivals,   and by the fact that the average chimpanzee has over 5 times the
upper-body strength of a human male.  As a result virtually any angered chimpanzee can easily overpower and
potentially kill even a fully grown man
How should we relate to beings who look
into mirrors and see themselves as
individuals, who mourn companions and
may die of grief, who have a consciousness
of 'self?' Don't they deserve to be treated
with the same sort of consideration we
accord to other highly sensitive beings:
Dr. Jane Goodall
Become a Chimpanzee Guardian
These precious animals have sad histories, but with your help we can give them happy
Find out more  Chimpanzees in the wild are on the brink of extinction. At the turn
of the last century, chimpanzees were living in 25 countries across West and Central
Africa numbering around one million. Today their total number has dwindled to less than
200,000, with significant populations found in only four countries.   There are many
reasons why chimpanzees are disappearing in the wild. Their habitat is vanishing at an
alarming rate due to deforestation by foreign hardwood logging companies. Logging in
remote areas has increased chimpanzees' vulnerability to poachers by disrupting their
once secluded environments. The Jane Goodall Institute sanctuary program is working
to create vast areas of protected chimpanzee habitat.
Help Jane Make a Difference.  Please consider
becoming a member of the Jane Goodal
Click Here to find out how YOU can
These chimpanzees were resued and now... These chimpanzees were
resued and now live in a sanctuary run by In Defense of Animals. Please
see for more information.
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