Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant species of ape in the genus Pan.
Chimpanzees are members of the Hominidae family, along with gorillas, humans, and orangutans. Chimpanzees split from human evolution about 6 million years ago and the two chimpanzee species are the closest living relatives to humans, all being members of the Hominini tribe (along with extinct species of Hominina subtribe). Chimpanzees are the only known members of the Panina subtribe. The two Pan species split only about one million years ago.
Facts about Chimpanzees:
- Chimps are found in 21 countries in Africa, they used to be in 25 countries and because of this its estimated that in the next 20 years 10 countries will have lost all its chimpanzees.
- In Uganda alone 90% of its chimpanzees have been lost in the past 500 years as compared to the human population which has increased by 800% in the last 100 days.
- There are only 4950 chimpanzees left in Uganda 98.4%of sub countries in Uganda have more people than all the chimpanzees in Uganda.
- Chimpanzees and other primates can be easily seen than in any other country in the world.
- Chimpanzees share 98% of our genes making them our closes cousins.
- Chimpanzees take 4-5 years before they can give birth to another and it takes them 11-12 years looking after their infants before they can let them start living on their own.
- Chimps live in communities that split up and join again later unlike the gorillas which stay together.
- Chimpanzees can use tools say the rocks to crack nuts, sticks to hunt for termites and make sponges from leaves to soak up water for drinking from hollows in trees.
- Different groups of chimpanzees also have different cultural behavior with preferences for types of tools.
The genus Pan is considered to be part of the subfamily Homininae to which humans also belong. These two species are the closest living evolutionary relatives to humans, sharing a common ancestor with humans six million years ago. Research by Mary-Claire King in 1973 found 99% identical DNA between human beings and chimpanzees, although research since has modified that finding to about 94% commonality, with some of the difference occurring in non-coding DNA. It has been proposed that troglodytes and paniscus belong with sapiens in the genus Homo, rather than in Pan. One of the arguments for this is that other species have been reclassified to belong to the same genus on the basis of less genetic similarity than that between humans and chimpanzees.
A lot of human fossils have been found, but chimpanzee fossils were not described until 2005. Existing chimpanzee populations in West and Central Africa do not overlap with the major human fossil sites in East Africa. However, chimpanzee fossils have now been reported from Kenya. This would indicate that both humans and members of the Pan clade were present in the East African Rift Valley during the MiddlePleistocene.
The male common chimp is up to 1.7 meters (5.6 ft) high when standing, and weighs as much as 70 kilograms (150 lb); the female is somewhat smaller. The common chimp’s long arms, when extended, have a span one and a half times as long as the body’s height and a chimpanzee's arms are longer than its legs. The bonobo is a little shorter and thinner than the common chimpanzee but has longer limbs. Both species use their long, powerful arms for climbing in trees. On the ground, chimpanzees usually walk on all fours using their knuckles for support with their hands clenched, a form of locomotion called knuckle-walking. Chimpanzee feet are better suited for walking than are those of the orangutan because the chimp’s soles are broader and the toes shorter. Both the common chimpanzee and bonobo can walk upright on two legs when carrying objects with their hands and arms. The Bonobo has proportionately longer upper limbs and tends to walk upright more often than the Common Chimpanzee. The coat is dark; the face, fingers, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet are hairless; and the chimp has no tail. 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. A University of Chicago Medical Centre study has found significant genetic differences between chimpanzee populations. A bony shelf over the eyes gives the forehead a receding appearance, and the nose is flat. Although the jaws protrude, the lips are thrust out only when a chimp pouts. The brain of a chimpanzee is about half the size of the human brain.
Chimpanzee testicles are unusually large for their body size, with a combined weight of about 4 ounces (110 g) compared to a gorilla's 1 ounce (28 g) or a human's 1.5 ounces (43 g). This is generally attributed to sperm competition due to the polyandrous nature of chimpanzee mating behavior. Chimpanzees reach puberty at an age of between 8 and 10 years and rarely live past the age of 40 in the wild, but have been known to reach the age of more than 60 in captivity.
Anatomical differences between the Common Chimpanzee and the Bonobo are slight, but in sexual and social behaviour there are marked differences. The Common Chimpanzee has anomnivorous diet, a troop hunting culture based on beta males led by an alpha male, and highly complex social relationships. The Bonobo, on the other hand, has a mostly frugivorous diet and anegalitarian, nonviolent, matriarchal, sexually receptive behaviour. Bonobos are well known to have frequent sex, with bisexuality the norm for both males and females, and also to use sex to help prevent and resolve conflicts. Different groups of chimpanzees also have different cultural behaviour with preferences for types of tools. The Common Chimpanzee tends to display higher levels of aggression than the Bonobo.
Chimpanzees live in large multi-male and multi-female social groups called communities. Within a community there is a definite social hierarchy which is dictated by the position of an individual and the influence the individual has on others. Chimpanzees live in a leaner hierarchy in which more than one individual may be dominant enough to dominate other members of lower rank. Typically there is a dominant male referred to as the Alpha male. The Alpha male is the highest-ranking male who controls the group and maintains order during any disputes. In chimpanzee society the 'dominant male' does not always have to be the largest or strongest male but rather the most manipulative and political male who can influence the goings on within a group. Male chimpanzees typically attain dominance through cultivating allies who will provide support for that individual in case of future ambitions for power. Its within a male chimpanzee's character to display in an attempt to show strength and recognition from others which may be fundamental to holding on to status. The alpha male will regularly display by making their normally slim coats puffed up to increase view size and charge to look as threatening and as powerful as possible to intimidate other members in an attempt to hold on to power and maintain authority. Lower-ranking chimpanzees will show respect by making submissive gestures in body language or reaching out their hand while grunting. Female chimpanzees will show deference to the alpha male by presenting their hind-quarters.
Female chimpanzees also have a hierarchy which is influenced by the position of a female individual within a group. In some chimpanzee communities, the young females may inherit high status from a high-ranking mother. The females will also form allies to dominate lower-ranking females. In contrast to males who have a main purpose of acquiring dominant status for access to mating privileges and sometimes violent domination of subordinates, females acquire dominant status for access to resources such as food. High-ranking females will often get first access to resources. In general, both genders acquire dominant status to improve social standing within a group.
Its often the females who choose the alpha male. For a male chimpanzee to win the alpha status he must gain acceptance from the females in the community as they are the ones who actually dictate the way the lifestyles are set up (the females are the ones who ensure the survival of the next generation; they have to make sure that their group is going to places that supply them with enough food). There are cases where a group of dominant females will oust an alpha male who is not to their preference and rather back up the other male who they see potential of leading the group as a successful alpha male.
Chimpanzees make tools and use them to acquire foods and for social displays; they have sophisticated hunting strategies requiring cooperation, influence and rank; they are status conscious, manipulative and capable of deception; they can learn to use symbols and understand aspects of human language including some relational syntax, concepts of number and numerical sequence; and they are capable of spontaneous planning for a future state or event.
One of the most significant discoveries was in October 1960 when Jane Goodall observed the use of tools among chimpanzees. Recent research indicates that chimpanzee stone tool use dates to at least 4,300 years ago. Chimpanzee tool usage includes digging into termite mounds with a large stick tool, and then using a small stick that has been altered to "fish" the termites out. A recent study revealed the use of such advanced tools as spears, with which Common Chimpanzees in Senegal sharpen with their teeth and use to spear Senegal Bushbabies out of small holes in trees. Before the discovery of tool use in chimps, it was believed that humans were the only species to make and use tools, but several other tool-using species are now known.
Recent studies have shown that chimpanzees engage in apparently altruistic behavior within groups, but are indifferent to the welfare of unrelated group members.
Evidence for "chimpanzee spirituality" includes display of mourning, "incipient romantic love", "rain dance", appreciation of natural beauty such as a sunset over a lake, curiosity and respect towards wildlife (such as the python, which is neither a threat nor a food source to chimpanzees), empathy toward other species (such as feeding turtles) and even "animism" or "pretend play" in chimps cradling and grooming rocks or sticks.
Chimps communicate in a manner similar to human non-verbal communication, using vocalizations, hand gestures, and facial expressions. Research into the chimpanzee brain has revealed that chimp communication activates an area of the chimp brain that is in the same position as Broca's area, the language center in the human brain.
Laughter might not be confined or unique to humans. The differences between chimpanzee and human laughter may be the result of adaptations that have evolved to enable human speech. Self-awareness of one's situation as seen in the mirror test, or the ability to identify with another's predicament are prerequisites for laughter, so animals may be laughing in the same way that humans do.
Chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans show laughterlike vocalizations in response to physical contact, such as wrestling, play chasing, or tickling. This is documented in wild and captive chimpanzees. Common Chimpanzee laughter is not readily recognizable to humans as such, because it is generated by alternating inhalations and exhalations that sound more like breathing and panting. There are instances in which non-human primates have been reported to have expressed joy. One study analyzed and recorded sounds made by human babies and Bonobos when tickled. It found that although the Bonobo's laugh was a higher frequency, the laugh followed a pattern similar to that of human babies and included similar facial expressions. 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.
Adult Common Chimpanzees, particularly males, can be very aggressive. They are highly territorial and are known to kill other chimps. Chimpanzees also engage in targeted hunting of lower order primates such as the red colobus and bush babies, and use the meat from these kills as a "social tool" within their community. In February 2009, after an incident in which a pet chimp named Travis attacked and mutilated a woman in Stamford, Connecticut, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a primate pet ban in the United States.
Africans have had contact with chimpanzees for millennia. Chimpanzees have been kept as pets for centuries in a few African villages, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Virunga National Park in the east of the country the park authorities regularly confiscate chimpanzees from people who are keeping them as pets. The first recorded contact of Europeans with chimps took place in present-day Angola during the 17th century. 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 European and Arab societal consciousness, mainly through fragmented and sketchy accounts of European adventurers. Apes are mentioned variously by Aristotle, as well as the English Bible, where they are described as having been collected by Solomon. (1 Kings 10:22. However the Hebrew word, qőf, may mean a monkey.) Apes are mentioned in the Qur'an (7:166), where God tells Israelites who transgressed Shabbat "Be ye apes".
The first of these early transcontinental chimpanzees came from Angola and were presented as a gift to Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange in 1640, and were followed by a few of its brethren over the next several years. Scientists described these first chimpanzees as "pygmies", and noted the animals' distinct similarities to humans. The next two decades would see a number of the creatures imported into Europe, mainly acquired by various zoological gardens as entertainment for visitors.