Two juvenile chimpanzees


Chimpanzees are a genus in the great ape family. The only two species are the familiar common chimpanzee of central and west Africa, and the very closely related bonobo which is only found in the Congo. Both species have long powerful arms for climbing trees and knuckle-walk on all fours. Chimpanzees are very intelligent, making and using a variety of tools that include spears for hunting bushbabies and twigs for termite fishing. Chimp society is one with complex social behaviour where playing, tickling and laughter are as evident as learning and culture.

Scientific name: Pan

Rank: Genus

Common names:


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Map showing the distribution of the Chimpanzees taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

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BBC News about Chimpanzees

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