Chimpanzee

Pan troglodytes

SUBFAMILY

Homininae

TAXONOMY

Pan troglodytes (Blumenbach, 1775), Mayoumba, Gabon. Four subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Common chimpanzee, robust chimpanzee; French: Chimpanzé; Spanish: Chimpancé.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Compact and muscular build. Hair is generally black, but may turn gray with age. Slight sexual dimorphism. Females

weigh 70-100 lb (31.8-45.4 kg) and males may be 80-130 lb (36.3-59 kg).

DISTRIBUTION

Large portion of Africa, beginning in Senegal and reaching the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania. Pan troglodytes troglodytes, Cameroon, Nigeria, Central African Republic; Pan troglodytes verus, Senegal; Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania. Actual borders between subspecies are difficult to assess and overlap may occur in some areas.

HABITAT

Found in a range of habitats including primary forest, secondary forest, grassland, and woodland savanna.

BEHAVIOR

"Fusion-fission" social system. Communities regularly break into smaller parties of varied composition. Males are generally dominant and form coalitions. Females are generally subordinate to adult males. Social interactions can be highly complex.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Exploit the widest variety of foods of any species of primate. Fruits, vegetation, insects, nuts, and animal prey are all included. Hunting and meat-eating are common. A diverse collection of tools are used to acquire and process regularly eaten foods.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Promiscuous mating system. Females advertise their ovulation with prominent genital swellings. Males compete for sexual access to females, although females may mate with many males when they ovulate. Paternity is difficult to assess. Offspring are at risk of infanticide from rival males.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Endangered.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Populations are being severely affected by unsustainable hunting for meat. ♦

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