The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chimpanzee Facts

Type: Mammal
Diet: Omnivore
Lifespan: Average around 45 years
Size: 1.2 - 1.7m
Weight: 32 - 60 kg
Habitat: Savannas, deciduous woodland, Montane forest, and rainforest
Range: Equatorial Africa
Scientific name: Pan troglodytes

Did you know?

•We, Homo sapiens, share 98.4% of our DNA with chimpanzees. To put this in perspective the American songbird species, the red-eyed vireos and the similar white-eyed vireos share only 97.1% of their genetic material.

•Chimpanzees have the same bones and muscles as humans with differences only in form, such as longer arms than legs. Adapted for quadrupedal movement and movement through the trees, chimpanzees have robust bodies and powerful arms. Because of their dense bones and muscle tissue, the upper body strength of a mature chimpanzee is 8-10 times that than that of humans.

•Chimpanzees are black, but older individuals may have a grey back. Both genders often have short white beards. The ears are prominent. Infants have a white tail tuft and pink to brown facial skin, which darkens by adulthood.

•Chimpanzees live in fluid social groups consisting of a core of multiple females and dominant related males, whom are highly territorial and will routinely patrol their home boundaries. Females tend to live a more solitary life than the males, often choosing to spend much of their time alone with their offspring.

•Chimpanzee infants are completely dependent on their mothers until about five years of age. When males are between the ages of 8-12 years, or adolescence, they will increase their independence and spend more time in the company of adult males. Females tend to remain close to their mothers during adolescence, becoming mature at age 11 but only beginning to breed at age 13-14. On average females will have about three offspring during their lifetime.

•Chimpanzees travel mostly on the ground but will mostly feed in trees during the day and make a new nest every night in the forest canopy to sleep.

•Their diet varies seasonally consisting mainly of fruit (~50-75%), but also leaves (~12-45%), flowers (~1-18%), seeds (~1-11%) and animal prey (~1-5%) such as grubs, termites, ants, wasps, birds and mammals including bush-pigs, duikers, rodents and even other primates. In the Ivory Coast chimpanzees will hunt together cooperatively to catch red colobus monkeys, the meat is much prized and its subsequent sharing strengthens male alliances and familial bonds.

•Chimpanzees have opposable thumbs and toes that allow for grasping, climbing, and object manipulation. Chimpanzees are very dexterous and are able to manipulate objects in their environment in order to fashion tools. These tools are usually used to obtain food sources. Sticks are used for termite fishing and ant dipping, leaf sponges to soak up water and in West Africa chimpanzees use specially chosen rocks to crack hard palm nuts, a behaviour that can take many years to perfect. Baby female chimps were recently discovered to play with sticks like human children play with dolls.

•Chimpanzees have many different vocalizations from soft grunts and lip smacks to alarm barks and screams. One of the most notable vocalizations is the pant hoot used in situations of increasing social excitement. Chimpanzees are also capable of learning basic human sign language.

•In response to our greater understanding of our close similarity to great apes in terms of their capacity for self recognition and their innate intelligence, a movement called The Great Ape Project, calls for certain civil rights to be granted to all great apes including the rights to life, liberty and freedom from torture.

•Chimpanzees are classified as endangered in the wild. Aside from habitat loss they are hunted for bushmeat and infants taken for sale into the pet trade. Over 1000 chimpanzees are still being kept and used in biomedical labs for research.
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