Chimpanzee

The chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), also known simply as chimp, is a species of great ape native to the forest and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. The chimpanzee and the closely related bonobo are classified in the genus Pan. Evidence from fossils and DNA sequencing shows that Pan is a sister taxon to the human lineage and is humans' closest living relative. The chimpanzee is covered in coarse black hair, but has a bare face, fingers, toes, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. It is larger and more robust than the bonobo, weighing 40–70 kg (88–154 lb) for males and 27–50 kg (60–110 lb) for females and standing 120 to 150 cm (3 ft 11 in to 4 ft 11 in).

Chimpanzee[1]
Temporal range: 4–0 Ma
[2]
P. t. schweinfurthii in Kibale National Park, Uganda
CITES Appendix I (CITES)[4]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Hominidae
Subfamily: Homininae
Tribe: Hominini
Genus: Pan
Species:
P. troglodytes
Binomial name
Pan troglodytes
(Blumenbach, 1775)
Subspecies
Distribution of subspecies
  1. Pan troglodytes verus (green)
  2. P. t. ellioti (grey)
  3. P. t. troglodytes (red)
  4. P. t. schweinfurthii (blue)
Synonyms
  • Simia troglodytes Blumenbach, 1775
  • Troglodytes troglodytes (Blumenbach, 1776)
  • Troglodytes niger E. Geoffroy, 1812
  • Pan niger (E. Geoffroy, 1812)
  • Anthropopithecus troglodytes (Sutton, 1883)

The chimpanzee lives in groups that range in size from 15 to 150 members, although individuals travel and forage in much smaller groups during the day. The species lives in a strict male-dominated hierarchy, where disputes are generally settled without the need for violence. Nearly all chimpanzee populations have been recorded using tools, modifying sticks, rocks, grass and leaves and using them for hunting and acquiring honey, termites, ants, nuts and water. The species has also been found creating sharpened sticks to spear small mammals. Its gestation period is eight months. The infant is weaned at about three years old but usually maintains a close relationship with its mother for several years more.

The chimpanzee is listed on the IUCN Red List as an endangered species. Between 170,000 and 300,000 individuals are estimated across its range. The biggest threats to the chimpanzee are habitat loss, poaching, and disease. Chimpanzees appear in Western popular culture as stereotyped clown-figures and have featured in entertainments such as chimpanzees' tea parties, circus acts and stage shows. They are sometimes kept as pets, though their strength, aggressiveness, and unpredictability makes them dangerous in this role. Some hundreds have been kept in laboratories for research, especially in America. Many attempts have been made to teach languages such as American Sign Language to chimpanzees, with limited success.


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