Part of the ‘great ape’ family, like gorillas and orangutans, chimps often seem very human to us, and with good reason. Like us, they are highly intelligent and form complex social relationships. They are found in Central and Southern Africa and, in the wild, will live in groups of between 40 and 100 individuals, with one dominant male at the head of the family.

Also like us, chimpanzees are extremely expressive and use their facial expressions to communicate – a scared chimp will bear its teeth, whilst an excited chimp will open its mouth wide with teeth exposed.

Chimps can also solve simple problems and are able to learn sign language to communicate with humans! They can even learn symbols for objects and actions and have been known to combine these in a way that resembles spoken phrases. 

Scientific name
Pan troglodytes
Up to 60 years in captivity, less in the wild.
Fast facts
Chimps often use leaves as umbrellas – they hate getting wet!
Adult males are as strong as 3 adult men.
A chimp’s jaw is as powerful as a leopard’s.
Conservation status
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