Chimpanzees are a genus in the great ape family. The only two species are the familiar common chimpanzee of central and west Africa, and the very closely related bonobo which is only found in the Congo. Both species have long powerful arms for climbing trees and knuckle-walk on all fours. Chimpanzees are very intelligent, making and using a variety of tools that include spears for hunting bushbabies and twigs for termite fishing. Chimp society is one with complex social behaviour where playing, tickling and laughter are as evident as learning and culture.
Scientific name: Pan
The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant hominid species of apes in the genus Pan. The Congo River forms the boundary between the native habitats of the two species:
Chimpanzees are members of the Hominidae family, along with gorillas, humans, and orangutans. Chimpanzees split from the human branch of the family about four to six million years ago. The two chimpanzee species are the closest living relatives to humans, all being members of the Hominini tribe (along with extinct species of Hominina subtribe). Chimpanzees are the only known members of the Panina subtribe. The two Pan species split only about one million years ago.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.