Chimpanzees are said to be our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. Below are ten interesting facts about chimpanzees that you may not know and many will leave you surprised at how similar they are to humans.
- Chimpanzees share 98.7% DNA with humans. Scientists say Chimpanzees and Humans share the same ancestor of evolutionary origin.
- Chimpanzees live in communities like humans. Unlike other primates like monkeys and Gorillas who live in groups, Chimpanzees live in communities that can be as large as 100+ chimps. Within the community are smaller units of groups, families, friends, etc… who can go about their lives independently from other chimps in the same community.
- Chimpanzee communities have classes. Within a community of chimps are three classes; upper class, middle class and lower class, and of course the higher the class the more privileges a chimp has…much like in human communities
- Chimpanzees vote their leaders in communities. Unlike in other primates like monkeys and gorillas where the most powerful becomes the leader of the group, chimpanzees are highly democratic and vote their leaders depending competencies and skills a chimp possesses. They do change leaders every now and then once a leader becomes unpopular.
- Chimpanzees have binocular vision. Chimps have an incredible eyesight that is said developed to spot snakes in the thick jungle.
- Chimpanzees can’t swim.
- Chimpanzees do not become sexually active until they about 10 years.
- Infant chimpanzees are born every 4 – 5 years and stay with their mothers until they are 8 – 10 years
- Chimpanzees are endangered. Due to the low birth rate of chimps and the immense pressure on their habitats, their numbers continue to dwindle.
- Chimpanzees can make and use tools. Chimpanzees have been observed to make and modify tools from their environment such as trees.
Never seen chimpanzees before? The chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda are excellent tours that will give you an opportunity to encounter a community of chimps in their natural home, observe their classes and leadership, see how they use tools and communicate with each other, and other interesting behaviors.