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Chimpanzee

posted: 04/29/14
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Chimpanzee
KjerstiJorgensen/Veer

Allow me to introduce Myself: I'm a Chimpanzee!

Where You'll Most Likely Find Me: In about 20 countries on the continent of Africa.

What I Like to Eat: Plants, fruit, insects, leaves, nuts and at times, meat.

Betcha Didn't Know This About Me: The biggest misconception about us is that we are monkeys. We beg your pardon, we are not. We are great apes. Monkeys have tails. Apes do not.

Kissing Cousins: Chimpanzees are the mammals that are most like human beings. We share about 98% percent of our DNA with you humans including your traits. One of the biggest is that we are social creatures just like you, and rely on our own communities and each other to survive and thrive.

Communication: Just like humans, we use our body to communicate. We kiss, touch, pat each other on the back, tickle and embrace one another. We even have the ability to laugh. Chimpanzees in captivity have been taught the skill of human sign languages.

Well-Known Chimpanzee: Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He's one of us.

How I Move: We are knuckle-walkers. That means we walk on all fours using our knuckles for support, but we also can stand and walk upright.

We Are Family: We live in communities made up of family groups with up to six animals. At any one time, approximately 50 of us could be living in one community. The community is run by the adult male (the alpha male). Female chimpanzees mate with a variety of different males often leaving the identity of the father of the newborn unknown. Since anyone could be the father, male chimpanzees treat all of the infant chimpanzees as if each of them were his own.

My Biggest Predator: Humans. You are the reason why we are an endangered species. Hunting, logging and disease are threatening our very survival. We have dwindled down from a population of millions to about only 175,000 to 300,000 of us living in Africa.

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