Chimpanzee

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About This Project

Features

Chimpanzees are our closest relatives. They are able to use simple tools in order to obtain food.

They live in communities of up to 120 individuals and their leader is usually a dominant male. The group has a complex hierarchic structure that may change as its members come and go. The position of a member in the group depends on the personality and the intelligence as well as on the physical strength. The social bonds may last for years, although there are no bonds between the male and the female that reproduce.

Habitat and distribution

Jungles and tropical forests and open habitats, such as meadows and savannahs.

Equatorial Africa. Chimpanzees occupy a large however discontinuous territory. They are found from the south of Senegal to the west of Uganda and Tanzania.

Biology

They are mainly vegetarian, although a 5 or a 10% of their diet consists of eggs, insects and small animals, like monkeys, birds or wild antelopes.

Females give birth to generally one baby after an eight-month gestation. The baby is fed, transported and cleaned by the mother during the three or four first years. Chimpanzees enjoy a long childhood and spend many hours playing and climbing. They learn how to behave and to survive by imitating the mother and other relatives.

Conservation status

The greatest threats to the chimpanzee are habitat loss, poaching and the transmission of diseases. The poachers hunt and kill the chimpanzees for different reasons: for the meat (consumed in some parts of Africa), for illegal trading (in which case they kill the mother to take away the baby), to produce medicinal remedies or to protect the villages and the crops.

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