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Two legs to walk and communication to strengthen social bonds

The most human-like animal

There are three sub-species of chimpanzee, which can be told apart by the colour of their coat, body size and habitat.

Chimpanzees communicate extensively through body language and by gesticulating. They also use visual communication (facial mimics) and tactile communication. They walk on two legs as a show of strength or to overcome obstacles. Communication is used to strengthen social bonds, which are highly important for chimpanzees. All members of the group help educate the young, who learn a lot through mimicry.

Chimpanzees also sometimes use tools to get food: they use stones to break nuts and sticks to catch termites or ants. They are frugivorous/granivorous and tend towards an omnivorous diet, the original feeding habit of humans.

Chimpanzees build a nest of fresh leaves and branches every evening high in the trees, which they abandon at dawn the next day and build another one in a different location the following evening.

  • Deux chimpanzés sur une pierre au zoo Le PAL
  • Un chimpanzé souriant au zoo Le PAl
  • Un chimpanzé tendant le bras au caméraman au zoo Le PAL
  • Un chimpanzé réfléchissant au zoo Le PAL

Chimpanzees are found in 21 African countries, mainly in Guinea and Ivory Coast, but also the Congo, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Chimpanzees form communities (20 to 80 individuals) divided into several family sub-groups. Males remain in the group in which they are born, while females leave upon reaching maturity.

Males are often very close to one another and form alliances to make their way up through the hierarchy. Females have little interaction with males. Chimpanzees are also able to organise themselves into groups to hunt.

  • Habitat

    Rainforests, deciduous woodland or tree savannah

  • Food

    Fruit, leaves and insects

Did you know ?

Chimpanzees self-medicate: they are able to treat themselves using the plants they find in their environment. Along with bonobos, they are the closest animals to humans genetically. They are 5 times as strong as a man weighing 80 kg.

At PAL...

More than 700 animals

A zoological reserve populated by Asian elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers, hippos, chimpanzees, gibbons, wolves, ostriches ... Animals evolving in their reconstituted natural environment, to discover as a family.

All animals