|© WWF Martin Harvey|
Their characteristic shape includes arms that extend beyond the knees, opposable thumbs, and a prominent mouth. The skin on their face, ears, palms, and soles of the feet is bare, and the rest of the body is covered with brown to black hair.
Chimpanzees usually move on the ground, although during the day they mostly stay in trees, where they also sleep in makeshift nests made with vegetation. This species walks "on all four", but individuals can also walk on their legs for more than a kilometre. Young individuals sometimes swing from branch to branch. Chimpanzees eat with their hands, which they also use to throw objects at enemies and to create tools. Notably, they will poke a stick into a termite mound to feed on the insects, and crack nuts open.
They forage during the day for 6-8 hours, with peaks of activity in the early morning and late afternoon. Depending on the fruiting times of the plants they feed on, activities may shift seasonally.
There is a wide range of behavioural differences between groups from different regions, so the loss of any one group represents a loss of cultural as well as biological heritage.
Yellow = Western. Green = Nigerian-Cameroon. Purple = Central. Blue = Eastern
|©WWF/CANON Michel Gunther|
|©WWF-Canon Martin Harvey|