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Chimpanzee Diet & Feeding Habits – Omnivorous Diet Facts

The chimpanzee diet is strange. Chimpanzees are omnivorous animals that require a significant amount of nutrients in their diet. This is why they consume up to 100 types of plants in addition to supplementing their diets with meat, insects, ants, bird eggs, pith, bark, buds, and termites, although they always prefer vegetables over other foods.

Common chimpanzees tend to favor fruits as their primary diet, but in the absence of fruits, they can consume leaves, shoots, stems, flowers, seeds, resin, and bark. Bonobo chimpanzees also have a strong preference for fruits, with approximately 57% of their diet consisting of fruits. During hunting sessions, the entire chimpanzee family typically participates, with some members chasing the prey, others blocking its escape, and some ambushing it. Once the prey is caught, the entire group shares the meat.

Chimpanzees sometimes use leaves as makeshift bowls for drinking water, and they also employ stones to break open hard nuts. Chimpanzees have been observed hunting for invertebrates like Patas monkeys, yellow baboons, red-tailed monkeys, western red colobus monkeys, and small antelopes such as duikers.

Chimpanzees dedicate most of their day to eating. Early in the morning, when chimpanzees wake up, they consume a variety of foods depending on what is available nearby. After midday, they become more selective, focusing on eating ripe fruits and water-rich leaves.

At Gombe National Park in Tanzania, chimpanzees have been observed consuming the Apilia mossambicensis plant, which helps them manage parasites in their digestive systems. Figs are a significant source of energy for chimpanzees, and they have also been seen consuming honey.

In Guinea, West Africa, chimpanzees have been observed drinking palm wine. The natural sugars in palm nuts ferment in the tropical heat, creating an alcoholic beverage that chimpanzees consume by fashioning vessels out of leaves. Infant chimpanzees, especially orphaned babies, can be fed milk, as seen at Tchimpounga Sanctuary.

In conclusion, chimpanzees are omnivorous animals, although the majority of their diet consists of vegetables.


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