The closest human relatives live in the tropical forests of Africa. Meet the chimpanzees! Here are some interesting facts about these interesting animals.
- Chimpanzees have long arms that reach below the knees, short legs and almost their entire body is covered with dark hair. Their face is straight, they have big eyes, a small nose and a wide mouth.
- Most of the genes of humans and chimpanzees are almost identical. Both species have the OPN1LW gene, which allows us to see red. Unlike humans and chimpanzees, mice, for example, do not have this gene.
- These great animals live in tropical forests and savannas in West and Central Africa. The population is divided into groups that can be found in Gabon, the Republic of Congo and Cameroon.
- Research whose results were published in the American Journal of Primatology – showed that chimpanzees have some traits that we thought were reserved only for humans: courage, jealousy, friendliness, stubbornness … Moreover, experts believe that they have 41 characteristics personalities, and to share as much as 60 percent with people!
- Did you know that chimpanzee DNA is 98.5 percent human-like? We are so close relatives. We share various characteristics, such as facial expression, toes and hands. We also have similar behaviors, chimpanzees laugh and have fun during the game, hug to show emotions, and can even walk upright.
- Experts have also proven that chimpanzee hand movements are not just random movements, but gestures. A few years ago, the scientific journal Borders of Psychology published the results of research that showed that chimpanzees, bonobo monkeys and children show similarities in expression.
- In the wild, chimpanzees live in a community, which consists of about 15 to 80 members, with a leader – an alpha male. Within communities, chimpanzees sleep, travel, and feed.
- Chimpanzees are cold-blooded killers. They brutally attack groups of other chimpanzees in order to expand their territory. Attacks are most often carried out by packs of males to gain more space, food, resources, and better access for females.
- After humans, chimpanzees are the most intelligent primates on our planet. These clever creatures communicate with each other using various gestures, facial expressions and several vocals, too.
- Chimpanzees have phenomenal sex. In fact, males have genital imperfections that are likely to increase stimulation and pleasure during mating, a recent study has shown.
- Chimpanzees are famous cleaners, they spend most of their time stroking each other’s hair. They remove dirt, parasites and dead skin cells. It may sound disgusting, but this way of cleaning is an important activity for these animals, not only to keep them clean, but also to bring them closer.
- Chimpanzees invent inventions. Chimpanzees adore the fruit of strychnos spinosa and will try to open the hard fruit in various ways. Three different groups of chimpanzees open this fruit tree in different ways, which proves that these animals innovate.
- When it comes to food, chimpanzees are crazy about fruit. They also adore leaves, flowers, seeds, bird eggs, insects, and even other animals.
- Chimpanzees laugh. If you tickle chimpanzees, they giggle just like children. They laugh in the same situations as humans, even more than we do, because these animals can both inhale and exhale while doing so. Also, rats and puppies laugh when they are tickled.
- They belong to a rare group of animals that use tools to get food. They open walnuts with the help of stones, they reach fish and insects with the help of a stick, and shelters from the rain are made of large leaves.
- Chips help each other. When you do something with another person, you follow what is happening and offer help when you see that it is needed, right? Chimpanzees do the same! They share a tool and help others in common affairs. Once they learn to help a friend, they will do so in 97 percent of situations.
- Females usually give birth to one cub, and sometimes twins, every five to six years. For the first six months, the baby chimpanzee stays in the fur on the mother’s belly, and later passes on the mother’s back, until the second year. For the next ten years, he followed his mother, learning how to survive, find food and build a place to sleep.
- Chimpanzees mourn like humans. Today, there are numerous recordings that prove that chimpanzees treat their dying relatives just like humans. Scientists have filmed two chimpanzees not separating from a dying family member. Chimpanzee mothers have been seen carrying their dead babies for weeks, until they are mummified.
19. About 200,000 chimpanzees live in the tropical forests of Africa.