What Are Some Interesting Facts About Chimpanzees?

What Are Some Interesting Facts About Chimpanzees?

Chimpanzees are one of four species of great apes that are native to 21 African countries. Chimpanzees are listed as an endangered species because their numbers have declined from around 1-2 million at the turn of the 20th century to an estimated 200,000, as of 2015.

Chimpanzees are one of the closest relatives to humans, sharing from 95-98 percent of the same DNA, as well as some behavioral traits such as tool usage. The name "chimpanzee" comes from the Bantu language and loosely means "mockman."

They communicate with each other in several ways such as calls, body language and facial expressions. Scientists have taught chimpanzees in captivity to use American Sign Language. Chimpanzees live in communities of roughly 50 individuals made up of small family groups. Chimpanzee communities are hierarchical and are led by an alpha male.

Male chimpanzees are about 4 feet tall and weigh 150 pounds. The females are a little bit smaller. Chimpanzees' coats are dark-colored, and their faces, palms and soles of their feet are hairless. Chimpanzees are omnivorous and eat leaves, insects and flowers. Sometimes they eat small mammals. They build nests in new locations each night.

Threats to chimpanzees include loss of habitat, poaching and disease. Chimpanzees can catch and share many of the same diseases as humans.