Common chimpanzees are also sometimes known as chimps or robust chimpanzees, this species of chimpanzees inhabit Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Cameroon, Nigeria, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The common chimpanzees live is woodlands, grasslands and rain-forests.
Common chimpanzees live in social groups’ of 20 to 150 individuals but always travel in small groups until evening when they come together and build nests to sleep on tree tops as a community. Males always roam around to protect the group members there is always a dominance hierarchy and males are more dominant than females.
Chimpanzees are also known to be very intelligent with several chimpanzees passing the mirror test by recognizing themselves in the mirror, they also show their indigence by use of tools such as sharpening sticks to collect termites in holes, using stones to break nuts, and chimpanzees have also showed intelligence by memorizing symbols
The common chimpanzees have been listed as an endangered species of primates by IUCN red list, the threat to common chimpanzee population is habitat loss and poaching caused by humans, diseases and sometimes leopards.
Common chimpanzees are capable of using human sign language with an example of Warshoe that was taught 151 signs of American Sign Language by Allen and Beatrix Gardner in the 1960s and warshoe also taught the signs to other chimpanzees. Chimpanzees also respond to physical contact like tickling, wrestling and playing .common chimpanzees have also been seen hunting together and the group coordinates with each one having a role in catching their prey and once its dead they share the meat.
Female chimpanzees can mate with several males in their group and can sometimes leave their groups and mate with males from other groups. The gestation period for female chimpanzees is 8 months and once a baby is born, the mother nurses and grooms the baby up to the age of four years Young infants are always weak and cling to their mother’s stomachs up to about 3-4 months.
The common chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas are human close relatives sharing over 95% DNA with humans and all of them are distributed in tropical Africa. Chimpanzees use a lot of methods for communication like facial expressions, body language, sign language, sound and postures. Chimpanzees’ communicate when feeding, in case of predators and playing.
Subspecies of Common Chimpanzees
There are mainly four sub species of common chimpanzees with a proposed sub species and this can be seen below:
The Eastern Chimpanzee
The eastern chimpanzee found in Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and central African republic.
The Central Chimpanzee
The central chimpanzee is a sub species found in Gabon, Republic of Congo and Cameroon.
The Western Chimpanzee
The western chimpanzee is a sub species of common chimpanzee inhabiting Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Guinea Bissau and Guinea.
Nigerian-Cameroon chimpanzee species is found along Nigeria and Cameroon border.
This species is proposed to be another sub species inhabiting Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda.