The Chimpanzee Is One Of The Most Intelligent Of Non-Human Animals. Photo:Thomas Lersch

Facts About Chimps

Chimps are not monkeys; they are apes, a group of advanced primates that also includes gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons. Scientists still have not decided whether bonobos constitute a distinct fifth species of ape, or are a subspecies of chimpanzee.

This page is a summary of our facts on chimpanzees; follow the link to our more detailed chimpanzee facts pages.

Many people think of chimpanzees as being small and cute, but this is largely a misconception. Most chimps that people see on television are very young animals; adult chimps, however, are as heavy as many full-grown humans—and about three times stronger than a man. In fact, they can be very dangerous, which is why adult chimps rarely appear on television shows.

Chimps and bonobos live in the rain forests of sub-Saharan Africa. Their numbers are diminishing due to habitat loss—the rain forests are being cut down—as well as to hunting by humans. People in Africa eat chimpanzees and bonobos in spite of the fact that these apes are our closet living relatives in the animal kingdom—a fact that has been proven through genetic analysis.

Both chimpanzees and bonobos live in groups that travel along the forest floor, foraging for fruit and other plant foods. Chimps occasionally also eat the meat of smaller animals they catch, and they defend their territory against male chimpanzees from other groups.

For more facts on chimpanzees, including maps of where they live, follow the link above.

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