Animal Class: Mammals
Height: 2 ½ – 3 feet
Weight: 88 – 132 pounds (males); 70 – 104 pounds (females)
Life Span: 40 – 45 years in the wild; up to 60 years in captivity
Diet: Wild: Fruits, leaves, seeds, stems, bark, insects and meat; Zoo: Overripe fruit (e.g. apples, peaches, pears, bananas), vegetables (onions, carrots, kale, broccoli, romaine lettuce)
Habitat: Found in equatorial Africa. Because of their broad distribution, chimpanzees live in a wide variety of habitat types that includes rainforest, dry savannas, swamp forests, and dry woodlands demonstrating that they are very adaptable animals.
Chimpanzees are all black but are born with pale faces and a white tail tuft, both of which darken with age. They have prominent ears and both males and females have white beards. Their arms are longer than their legs. They are slightly sexually dimorphic in that the males weigh slightly more than females.
Chimpanzees spend most of their time walking on all fours (they are called “knuckle walkers” because they use their knuckles for support). Like humans, chimps have opposable thumbs and opposable big toes which allow them to grip things with their feet. Chimpanzees have a wide variety of tastes and are able to live in a wide variety of habitats, unlike gorillas and orangutans who have narrower diets. Chimps have an ability to create tools from objects in their environment. Young chimpanzees learn these skills by observing and being taught by older, experienced chimps. One common example of tool use is inserting twigs in a termite mound to extract the insects. They have also been found to use medicinal plants to treat themselves for illness or injury.