Chimp is a non-human primate that lives in the rain forests of central Africa. The genus Pan includes two extinct species: the chimpanzee, and the bonobo. These two monkey species are generally called canines, but both species are often more commonly known collectively with the generalized name chimpanzees or monkeys.
Chimps differ from other primates in that they have a dense body plan and small brains with the largest brain of all monkeys. They are also the only primates that produce sounds through their mouth, with the use of ossicles.
While all primates have scent glands on the tip of their tongue, chimps produce their own musk, which some belief helps the chimp bond with other chimps and other animals.
The term ‘chimpanzee’ refers to the boneless, or ‘ape’ shaped, chimpanzees. There are seven species of a chimp, including the black-haired, red-faced, silver-eyed, white-tipped, and Chinese-shaded chimp. A chimp can’t hold its head up because its face is flat like a human skull.
Although the chimp is considered by some to be the smallest member of the human species, it is no less human-like in features. These include large feet, short legs, big hands, and an easily-swimming body.
Chimps are solitary animals that live by hunting or searching for their prey in the trees. Because chimps live in dense tropical forests, they are rarely seen by humans unless they come to play. However, chimps do travel in groups called flocks, and in the past chimps were frequently seen by European explorers.
In most parts of the world, chimps live in hygienic environments that are similar to those found in humans’ homes, although the majority of chimps live in low-lying swampy areas where humans cannot easily go.
Chimps live in many different habitats across the world. In central Africa, they primarily live in the Maheswarnath National Park in the central Serengeti region. There they hunt monkeys and gazelles, sometimes eating the latter. In the Highlands of central Africa, chimps hunt elephants, hippo, and buffaloes, and occasionally monkeys as well.
The Kibale Forest in Tanzania is a great source for chimpanzees and other primates; however, due to habitat destruction, it is now largely uninhabitable. Central Africa also has the Osebo Forest, an old-growth forest; however, it is now largely destroyed due to tourism.
Bonobos live on the island of Chole, in the Lagoon of Moromotra, Madagascar; they are the most distant relatives of humans. Unlike chimpanzees and bonobos, humans and bonobos have an only minor genetic resemblance, as they are closely related to one another.
This is the main reason that the two species cannot interbreed. Bonobo chimpanzees are only slightly taller than humans; they also weigh under two hundred twenty pounds, with dark hair. Their lower face is marked by a chubby dimple, which is shared by only a few chimps and bonobos.
Primate research has revealed that chimpanzees live in family groups called troop structure; each troop is led by an individual chimp, and the entire troop is led by a single chimp. Each chimp carries only one tool and uses this exclusively. Although the chimps in a troop tend to look similar, they are not genetically similar.
Also, unlike bonobos, chimpanzees do not use tools made from bones. Chimps and bonobos have evolved from a common ancestor approximately two million years ago. Recent research indicates that both chimp and bonobo lives will continue to change into the next century, as technologies improve and new questions arise about how the species will interact with modern humans.