Saturday, December 4, 2010

Common chimpanzee

The common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) one of the two species of the genus Pan.  The common chimpanzee is also known as the Robust chimpanzee.  It is a type of great ape and is endangered due to habitat loss and poaching for bushmeat.

Physical Features
Common chimpanzees have black hair covering their full body except for their fingers, toes, face, sole of their feet and their palms.  They have a gestation period of eight months and have a life span of 50 years in captivity.  The arrangement of their toes and fingers allow them to grasp branches and other items strongly.  Females are smaller than males, measuring about 4.5 feet while males measure about 5.8 feet.  Normally, adult common chimpanzees weigh from 45 kilograms to 65 kilograms.

Common chimpanzees are herbivores though, many of the are omnivores as they eat meat as well as vegetation.  Most of the common chimpanzees diet consists of seeds, fruits, nuts,
Chimpanzee family in Taronga zoo.
tubers and some populations also eat termites.  Common chimpanzees sometimes even eat Western red colobus monkeys.  Cannibalism has been recorded in minute populations.  Common chimpanzees spend eight hours a day eating.   The West African chimpanzee is the only animal besides humans to make specialized weapon for hunting.  In Sengal, it was observed that the west african chimpanzee makes hunting tools by ripping tree limbs from trees, taking their bark out and then sharpen one edge with their teeth to make a spear.  They use these spears to kill sleeping galagos in their hollow.

The common chimpanzee if found in African countries like Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana,  Liberia, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Zambia, Tanzania, Burundi, Sudan and Uganda.

Conservation Status
The common chimpanzee is an endangered species like its relative, the bonobo.  It is endangered due to habitat loss and hunting for bushmeat.  There are many breeding programs around the world to protect this threatened species.

Source of picture 1  

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