Chimpanzee
Overview
Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of ape
Ape
Apes are Old World anthropoid mammals, more specifically a clade of tailless catarrhine primates, belonging to the biological superfamily Hominoidea. The apes are native to Africa and South-east Asia, although in relatively recent times humans have spread all over the world...

 in the genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 Pan. The Congo River
Congo River
The Congo River is a river in Africa, and is the deepest river in the world, with measured depths in excess of . It is the second largest river in the world by volume of water discharged, though it has only one-fifth the volume of the world's largest river, the Amazon...

 forms the boundary between the native habitat of the two species:
  • Common Chimpanzee
    Common Chimpanzee
    The common chimpanzee , also known as the robust chimpanzee, is a great ape. Colloquially, the common chimpanzee is often called the chimpanzee , though technically this term refers to both species in the genus Pan: the common chimpanzee and the closely related bonobo, formerly called the pygmy...

    , Pan troglodytes (West
    West Africa
    West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

     and Central Africa
    Central Africa
    Central Africa is a core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda....

    )
  • Bonobo
    Bonobo
    The bonobo , Pan paniscus, previously called the pygmy chimpanzee and less often, the dwarf or gracile chimpanzee, is a great ape and one of the two species making up the genus Pan. The other species in genus Pan is Pan troglodytes, or the common chimpanzee...

    , Pan paniscus (forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

    )


Chimpanzees are members of the Hominidae
Hominidae
The Hominidae or include them .), as the term is used here, form a taxonomic family, including four extant genera: chimpanzees , gorillas , humans , and orangutans ....

 family, along with gorilla
Gorilla
Gorillas are the largest extant species of primates. They are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa. Gorillas are divided into two species and either four or five subspecies...

s, human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

s, and orangutan
Orangutan
Orangutans are the only exclusively Asian genus of extant great ape. The largest living arboreal animals, they have proportionally longer arms than the other, more terrestrial, great apes. They are among the most intelligent primates and use a variety of sophisticated tools, also making sleeping...

s.
Encyclopedia
Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of ape
Ape
Apes are Old World anthropoid mammals, more specifically a clade of tailless catarrhine primates, belonging to the biological superfamily Hominoidea. The apes are native to Africa and South-east Asia, although in relatively recent times humans have spread all over the world...

 in the genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 Pan. The Congo River
Congo River
The Congo River is a river in Africa, and is the deepest river in the world, with measured depths in excess of . It is the second largest river in the world by volume of water discharged, though it has only one-fifth the volume of the world's largest river, the Amazon...

 forms the boundary between the native habitat of the two species:
  • Common Chimpanzee
    Common Chimpanzee
    The common chimpanzee , also known as the robust chimpanzee, is a great ape. Colloquially, the common chimpanzee is often called the chimpanzee , though technically this term refers to both species in the genus Pan: the common chimpanzee and the closely related bonobo, formerly called the pygmy...

    , Pan troglodytes (West
    West Africa
    West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

     and Central Africa
    Central Africa
    Central Africa is a core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda....

    )
  • Bonobo
    Bonobo
    The bonobo , Pan paniscus, previously called the pygmy chimpanzee and less often, the dwarf or gracile chimpanzee, is a great ape and one of the two species making up the genus Pan. The other species in genus Pan is Pan troglodytes, or the common chimpanzee...

    , Pan paniscus (forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

    )


Chimpanzees are members of the Hominidae
Hominidae
The Hominidae or include them .), as the term is used here, form a taxonomic family, including four extant genera: chimpanzees , gorillas , humans , and orangutans ....

 family, along with gorilla
Gorilla
Gorillas are the largest extant species of primates. They are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa. Gorillas are divided into two species and either four or five subspecies...

s, human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

s, and orangutan
Orangutan
Orangutans are the only exclusively Asian genus of extant great ape. The largest living arboreal animals, they have proportionally longer arms than the other, more terrestrial, great apes. They are among the most intelligent primates and use a variety of sophisticated tools, also making sleeping...

s. Chimpanzees split from the human branch of the family about 4 to 6 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
Hominina
The more anthropomorphic primates of the Hominini tribe are placed in the Hominina subtribe. Referred to as hominans, they are characterized by the evolution of an increasingly erect bipedal locomotion. The only extant species is Homo sapiens...

 subtribe). Chimpanzees are the only known members of the Panina subtribe. The two Pan species split only about one million years ago.

Evolutionary relationship

The genus Pan is considered to be part of the subfamily Homininae
Homininae
Homininae is a subfamily of Hominidae, which includes humans, gorillas and chimpanzees, and some extinct relatives; it comprises all those hominids, such as Australopithecus, that arose after the split from orangutans . Our family tree, which has 3 main branches leading to chimpanzees, humans and...

 to which human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

s also belong. These two species are the closest living evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

ary relatives to human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

s, sharing a common ancestor with humans about four to six million years ago. Research by Mary-Claire King
Mary-Claire King
Mary-Claire King is an American human geneticist. She is a professor at the University of Washington, where she studies the genetics and interaction of genetics and environmental influences on human conditions such as HIV, lupus, inherited deafness, and also breast and ovarian cancer...

 in 1973 found 99% identical DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 between human beings and chimpanzees, although research since has modified that finding to about 94% commonality, with some of the difference occurring in non-coding DNA
Noncoding DNA
In genetics, noncoding DNA describes components of an organism's DNA sequences that do not encode for protein sequences. In many eukaryotes, a large percentage of an organism's total genome size is noncoding DNA, although the amount of noncoding DNA, and the proportion of coding versus noncoding...

. It has been proposed, for instance by J. Diamond in his book where he refers to man as The Third Chimpanzee
The Third Chimpanzee
The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal is a wide-ranging book by Jared Diamond, professor of geography and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles , which applies insights from biology, anthropology, and linguistics to questions such as why one species...

, that troglodytes and paniscus belong with sapiens in the genus Homo
Homo (genus)
Homo is the genus that includes modern humans and species closely related to them. The genus is estimated to be about 2.3 to 2.4 million years old, evolving from australopithecine ancestors with the appearance of Homo habilis....

, rather than in Pan. One of the arguments for this is that other species have been reclassified to belong to the same genus on the basis of less genetic similarity than that between humans and chimpanzees.

Fossils

A lot of human fossils
Human evolution
Human evolution refers to the evolutionary history of the genus Homo, including the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species and as a unique category of hominids and mammals...

 have been found, but chimpanzee fossils were not described until 2005. Existing chimpanzee populations in West and Central Africa do not overlap with the major human fossil sites in East Africa. However, chimpanzee fossils have now been reported from Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

. This would indicate that both humans and members of the Pan clade
Clade
A clade is a group consisting of a species and all its descendants. In the terms of biological systematics, a clade is a single "branch" on the "tree of life". The idea that such a "natural group" of organisms should be grouped together and given a taxonomic name is central to biological...

 were present in the East African Rift Valley
East African Rift
The East African Rift is an active continental rift zone in eastern Africa that appears to be a developing divergent tectonic plate boundary. It is part of the larger Great Rift Valley. The rift is a narrow zone in which the African Plate is in the process of splitting into two new tectonic plates...

 during the Middle Pleistocene
Pleistocene
The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years BP that spans the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek and ....

. According to Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL , known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author...

 in his book The Ancestor's Tale
The Ancestor's Tale
The Ancestor's Tale is a 2004 popular science book by Richard Dawkins, with contributions from Dawkins' research assistant Yan Wong. It follows the path of humans backwards through evolutionary history, meeting humanity's cousins as they converge on common ancestors...

,
chimps and bonobos are descended from Australopithecus Gracile type species (see Homininae
Homininae
Homininae is a subfamily of Hominidae, which includes humans, gorillas and chimpanzees, and some extinct relatives; it comprises all those hominids, such as Australopithecus, that arose after the split from orangutans . Our family tree, which has 3 main branches leading to chimpanzees, humans and...

), in other words, the ancestors of chimpanzees would be some of the Australopithecus afarensis.

Anatomy and physiology

The male common chimp is up to 1.7 metres (5.6 ft) high when standing, and weighs as much as 70 kilograms (154.3 lb); the female is somewhat smaller. The common chimp’s long arms, when extended, have a span one and a half times as long as the body’s height and a chimpanzee's arms are longer than its legs. The bonobo is a little shorter and thinner than the common chimpanzee but has longer limbs. Both species use their long, powerful arms for climbing in trees. On the ground, chimpanzees usually walk on all fours using their knuckles for support with their hands clenched, a form of locomotion called knuckle-walking
Knuckle-walking
Knuckle-walking is a form of quadrupedal walking in which the forelimbs hold the fingers in a partially flexed posture that allows body weight to press down on the ground through the knuckles....

. Chimpanzee feet are better suited for walking than are those of the orangutan because the chimp’s soles are broader and the toes shorter. Both the common chimpanzee and bonobo can walk upright on two legs when carrying objects with their hands and arms. The Bonobo has proportionately longer upper limbs and tends to walk upright more often than the Common Chimpanzee. The coat is dark; the face, fingers, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet are hairless; and the chimp has no tail. The exposed skin of the face, hands and feet varies from pink to very dark in both species, but is generally lighter in younger individuals, darkening as maturity is reached. A University of Chicago Medical Centre study has found significant genetic differences between chimpanzee populations. A bony shelf over the eyes gives the forehead a receding appearance, and the nose is flat. Although the jaws protrude, the lips are thrust out only when a chimp pouts. The brain of a chimpanzee is less than one third the size of the human brain.

Chimpanzee testicle
Testicle
The testicle is the male gonad in animals. Like the ovaries to which they are homologous, testes are components of both the reproductive system and the endocrine system...

s are unusually large for their body size, with a combined weight of about 4 ounces (113.4 g) compared to a gorilla's 1 ounces (28.3 g) or a human's 1.5 ounces (42.5 g). This is generally attributed to sperm competition
Sperm competition
Sperm competition is a term used to refer to the competitive process between spermatozoa of two different males to fertilize an egg of a lone female. Competition occurs whenever females engage in promiscuous mating to increase their chances in producing more viable offspring...

 due to the polyandrous nature of chimpanzee mating behavior. Chimpanzees reach puberty
Puberty
Puberty is the process of physical changes by which a child's body matures into an adult body capable of reproduction, as initiated by hormonal signals from the brain to the gonads; the ovaries in a girl, the testes in a boy...

 at an age of between 8 and 10 years, and rarely live past age 40 in the wild, but have been known to live more than 60 years in captivity.

Neoteny

Nancy Lynn Barrickman of the Department of Evolutionary Psychology at Duke University claimed Brian T. Shea found by multivariate analysis that Bonobo
Bonobo
The bonobo , Pan paniscus, previously called the pygmy chimpanzee and less often, the dwarf or gracile chimpanzee, is a great ape and one of the two species making up the genus Pan. The other species in genus Pan is Pan troglodytes, or the common chimpanzee...

s are more neotenized than the common chimpanzee
Common Chimpanzee
The common chimpanzee , also known as the robust chimpanzee, is a great ape. Colloquially, the common chimpanzee is often called the chimpanzee , though technically this term refers to both species in the genus Pan: the common chimpanzee and the closely related bonobo, formerly called the pygmy...

, taking into account such features as the proportionately long torso length of the Bonobo.

Behaviors

Anatomical differences between the Common Chimpanzee and the Bonobo are slight, but in sexual and social behaviour there are marked differences. The Common Chimpanzee has an omnivorous
Omnivore
Omnivores are species that eat both plants and animals as their primary food source...

 diet
Diet (nutrition)
In nutrition, diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. Dietary habits are the habitual decisions an individual or culture makes when choosing what foods to eat. With the word diet, it is often implied the use of specific intake of nutrition for health or weight-management...

, a troop hunting
Predation
In ecology, predation describes a biological interaction where a predator feeds on its prey . Predators may or may not kill their prey prior to feeding on them, but the act of predation always results in the death of its prey and the eventual absorption of the prey's tissue through consumption...

 culture based on beta males led by an alpha male, and highly complex social relationships. The Bonobo, on the other hand, has a mostly frugivorous diet and an egalitarian, nonviolent, matriarchal, sexually receptive behaviour. Bonobos are well known to have frequent sex, with bisexuality the norm for both males and females, and also to use sex to help prevent and resolve conflicts. Different groups of chimpanzees also have different cultural behaviour with preferences for types of tools. The Common Chimpanzee tends to display higher levels of aggression than the Bonobo.

Social structure

Chimpanzees live in large multi-male and multi-female social groups called communities. Within a community there is a definite social hierarchy which is dictated by the position of an individual and the influence the individual has on others. Chimpanzees live in a leaner hierarchy in which more than one individual may be dominant enough to dominate other members of lower rank. Typically there is a dominant male referred to as the Alpha male. The Alpha male is the highest-ranking male who controls the group and maintains order during any disputes. In chimpanzee society the 'dominant male' does not always have to be the largest or strongest male but rather the most manipulative and political male who can influence the goings on within a group. Male chimpanzees typically attain dominance through cultivating allies who will provide support for that individual in case of future ambitions for power. The alpha male regularly displays by making his normally slim coat puffed up to increase view size and charge to look as threatening and as powerful as possible. This serves to intimidate other members in an attempt to hold on to power and maintain authority, and it may be fundamental to the alpha male's holding on to his status. Lower-ranking chimpanzees will show respect by making submissive gestures in body language or reaching out their hand while grunting. Female chimpanzees will show deference to the alpha male by presenting their hind-quarters.

Female chimpanzees also have a hierarchy which is influenced by the position of a female individual within a group. In some chimpanzee communities, the young females may inherit high status from a high-ranking mother. The females will also form allies to dominate lower-ranking females. In contrast to males who have a main purpose of acquiring dominant status for access to mating privileges and sometimes violent domination of subordinates, females acquire dominant status for access to resources such as food. High-ranking females will often get first access to resources. In general, both genders acquire dominant status to improve social standing within a group.

Its often the females who choose the alpha male. For a male chimpanzee to win the alpha status, he must gain acceptance from the females in the community. Females have to make sure that their group is going to places that supply them with enough food. In some cases, a group of dominant females will oust an alpha male who is not to their preference and rather back up the other male who they see potential of leading the group as a successful alpha male.

Intelligence

Chimpanzees make tools and use them to acquire foods and for social displays; they have sophisticated hunting strategies requiring cooperation, influence and rank; they are status conscious, manipulative and capable of deception; they can learn to use symbols and understand aspects of human language including some relational syntax, concepts of number and numerical sequence; and they are capable of spontaneous planning for a future state or event.

Tool use

One of the most significant discoveries was in October 1960 when Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall
Dame Jane Morris Goodall, DBE , is a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National...

 observed the use of tools among chimpanzees. Recent research indicates that chimpanzee stone tool use dates to at least 4,300 years ago. Chimpanzee tool usage includes digging into termite mounds with a large stick tool, and then using a small stick that has been altered to "fish" the termites out. A recent study revealed the use of such advanced tools as spears, with which Common Chimpanzees in Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

 sharpen with their teeth and use to spear Senegal Bushbabies
Senegal Bushbaby
The Senegal bushbaby , also known as the Senegal galago, the lesser galago or the lesser bush baby, is a small, nocturnal primate, a member of the galago family Galagidae....

 out of small holes in trees. Before the discovery of tool use in chimps, it was believed that humans were the only species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 to make and use tools, but several other tool-using species are now known.

Nest-building

Nest-building, sometimes considered as tool use, is seen in chimpanzees who construct arboreal night nests by lacing together branches from one or more trees. It forms an important part of behaviour, especially in the case of mothers who teach this trait to infants. Nests consist of a mattress, supported on a strong foundation, and lined above with soft leaves and twigs. Nests are built in trees with a minimum diameter of 5 metres (16.4 ft) and may be located at a height of 3 to 45 m (9.8 to 147.6 ft). Day as well as night nests are built. Nests may be located in groups.

Empathy

Recent studies have shown that chimpanzees engage in apparently altruistic
Altruism
Altruism is a concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions, though the concept of 'others' toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism is the opposite of...

 behaviour within groups, but are indifferent to the welfare of unrelated group members. However in the wild it has been shown that chimpanzees have adopted an orphan chimpanzee, sometimes ones that come from other unrelated groups. And in some rare cases even male chimps have been shown to take care of abandoned infant chimps of an unrelated group, however in most cases they would normally kill the infant.

Evidence for "chimpanzee spirituality" includes display of mourning
Mourning
Mourning is, in the simplest sense, synonymous with grief over the death of someone. The word is also used to describe a cultural complex of behaviours in which the bereaved participate or are expected to participate...

, "incipient romantic love
Romantic love
Romance is the pleasurable feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.In the context of romantic love relationships, romance usually implies an expression of one's love, or one's deep emotional desires to connect with another person....

", "rain dance", appreciation of natural beauty such as a sunset over a lake, curiosity and respect towards wildlife (such as the python, which is neither a threat nor a food source to chimpanzees), empathy toward other species (such as feeding turtles) and even "animism
Animism
Animism refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle....

" or "pretend play" in chimps cradling and grooming rocks or sticks.

Communication

Chimps communicate in a manner similar to human non-verbal communication, using vocalizations, hand gestures, and facial expressions. Research into the chimpanzee brain has revealed that chimp communication activates an area of the chimp brain that is in the same position as Broca's area
Broca's area
Broca's area is a region of the hominid brain with functions linked to speech production.The production of language has been linked to the Broca’s area since Pierre Paul Broca reported impairments in two patients. They had lost the ability to speak after injury to the posterior inferior frontal...

, a language center in the human brain.

Studies of language

Scientists have long been fascinated with the studies of language, believing it to be a unique human cognitive ability. To test this hypothesis, scientists have attempted to teach human language to several species of great apes. One early attempt by Allen and Beatrix Gardner in the 1960s involved spending 51 months teaching American Sign Language
American Sign Language
American Sign Language, or ASL, for a time also called Ameslan, is the dominant sign language of Deaf Americans, including deaf communities in the United States, in the English-speaking parts of Canada, and in some regions of Mexico...

 to a chimpanzee named Washoe
Washoe (chimpanzee)
Washoe was a chimpanzee who was the first non-human to learn to communicate using American Sign Language, as part of a research experiment on animal language acquisition....

. The Gardners reported that Washoe learned 151 signs, and that she had spontaneously taught them to other chimpanzees. Over a longer period of time, Washoe learned over 800 signs.

There is ongoing debate among some scientists, notably Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

 and David Premack
David Premack
David Premack is currently emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. He was educated at the University of Minnesota when logical positivism was in full bloom. The departments of Psychology and Philosophy were closely allied...

, about non-human great apes' ability to learn language. Since the early reports on Washoe, numerous other studies have been conducted with varying levels of success, including one involving a chimpanzee named, in parody, Nim Chimpsky
Nim Chimpsky
Nim Chimpsky was a chimpanzee who was the subject of an extended study of animal language acquisition at Columbia University, led by Herbert S. Terrace....

, trained by Herbert Terrace of Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

. Although his initial reports were quite positive, in November 1979, Terrace and his team re-evaluated the videotapes of Nim with his trainers, analyzing them frame by frame for signs as well as for exact context (what was happening both before and after Nim’s signs). In the re-analysis, Terrace concluded that Nim’s utterances could be explained merely as prompting on the part of the experimenters, as well as mistakes in reporting the data. “Much of the apes’ behavior is pure drill,” he said. “Language still stands as an important definition of the human species.” In this reversal, Terrace now argued that Nim’s use of ASL was not like human language acquisition. Nim never initiated conversations himself, rarely introduced new words, and simply imitated what the humans did. Nim’s sentences also did not grow in length, unlike human children whose vocabulary and sentence length show a strong positive correlation.

Memory

A 30-year study at Kyoto University
Kyoto University
, or is a national university located in Kyoto, Japan. It is the second oldest Japanese university, and formerly one of Japan's Imperial Universities.- History :...

’s Primate Research Institute
Primate Research Institute
The Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University is a national research center for the study of primates. It was founded in 1967 by primatologists Kinji Imanishi and Junichiro Itani. The Institute works toward understanding the biological, behavioral and socioecological aspects of primates, and the...

 has shown that chimps are able to learn to recognize the numbers 1–9 and their values. The chimps further show an aptitude for photographic memory, demonstrated in experiments in which the jumbled digits 1–9 are flashed onto a computer screen for less than a quarter of a second, after which the chimp, Ayumu
Ayumu (chimpanzee)
Ayumu is a chimpanzee currently living at the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University. He is the son of chimpanzee Ai, and has been a participant since infancy in the Ai Project, an ongoing research effort aimed at understanding chimpanzee cognition...

, is able to correctly and quickly point to the positions where they appeared in ascending order. The same experiment was failed by world memory champion Ben Pridmore
Ben Pridmore
-Achievements:Pridmore is the 2009 World Memory Champion, a title he also won in 2004 and 2008. From Derby in the United Kingdom, Pridmore achieved this by winning a 10-discipline competition, the World Memory Championship, which has taken place every year since 1991.He held the official world...

 on most attempts.

Laughter in apes

Laughter
Laughter
Laughing is a reaction to certain stimuli, fundamentally stress, which serves as an emotional balancing mechanism. Traditionally, it is considered a visual expression of happiness, or an inward feeling of joy. It may ensue from hearing a joke, being tickled, or other stimuli...

 might not be confined or unique to humans. The differences between chimpanzee and human laughter may be the result of adaptations that have evolved to enable human speech. Self-awareness of one's situation as seen in the mirror test
Mirror test
The mirror test is a measure of self-awareness, as animals either possess or lack the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror.The test was developed by Gordon Gallup Jr. in 1970, based in part on observations made by Charles Darwin. While visiting a zoo, Darwin held a mirror up to an orangutan...

, or the ability to identify with another's predicament (see mirror neurons), are prerequisites for laughter, so animals may be laughing in the same way that humans do.

Chimpanzees, gorilla
Gorilla
Gorillas are the largest extant species of primates. They are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa. Gorillas are divided into two species and either four or five subspecies...

s, and orangutan
Orangutan
Orangutans are the only exclusively Asian genus of extant great ape. The largest living arboreal animals, they have proportionally longer arms than the other, more terrestrial, great apes. They are among the most intelligent primates and use a variety of sophisticated tools, also making sleeping...

s show laughter-like vocalizations in response to physical contact, such as wrestling, play chasing, or tickling
Tickling
Tickling is the act of touching a part of the body so as to cause involuntary twitching movements and/or laughter. The word evolved from the Middle English tikelen, perhaps frequentative of ticken, to touch lightly. The idiom tickled pink means to be pleased or delighted.In 1897, psychologists G...

. This is documented in wild and captive chimpanzees. Common Chimpanzee laughter is not readily recognizable to humans as such, because it is generated by alternating inhalations and exhalations that sound more like breathing and panting. There are instances in which non-human primates have been reported to have expressed joy. One study analyzed and recorded sounds made by human babies and Bonobos when tickled. It found that although the Bonobo's laugh was a higher frequency, the laugh followed a pattern similar to that of human babies and included similar facial expressions. Humans and chimpanzees share similar ticklish areas of the body, such as the armpits and belly. The enjoyment of tickling in chimpanzees does not diminish with age.

Sleep

The average sleep time of a chimpanzee in captivity is said to be 9.7 hours per day.

Aggression

Adult Common Chimpanzees, particularly males, can be very aggressive. They are highly territorial and are known to kill other chimps. Chimpanzees also engage in targeted hunting of lower order primates such as the red colobus and bush babies, and use the meat from these kills as a "social tool" within their community. In February 2009, after an incident in which a pet chimp named Travis
Travis (chimpanzee)
Travis was a male chimpanzee who appeared in American television shows and commercials. In February 2009, Travis suddenly attacked Charla Nash, a friend of his owner. During the attack, Travis grievously mauled Nash, blinding her while severing her nose, ears, both hands and severely lacerating...

 attacked and mutilated a woman in Stamford, Connecticut
Stamford, Connecticut
Stamford is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 122,643, making it the fourth largest city in the state and the eighth largest city in New England...

, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a primate pet ban in the United States.

History

Africans
African people
African people refers to natives, inhabitants, or citizen of Africa and to people of African descent.-Etymology:Many etymological hypotheses that have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa":...

 have had contact with chimpanzees for millennia. Chimpanzees have been kept as pet
Pet
A pet is a household animal kept for companionship and a person's enjoyment, as opposed to wild animals or to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals or sport animals, which are kept for economic or productive reasons. The most popular pets are noted for their loyal or playful...

s for centuries in a few African villages, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Virunga National Park
Virunga National Park
The Virunga National Park , formerly named Albert National Park, is a 7800 square km National Park that stretches from the Virunga Mountains in the South, to the Rwenzori Mountains in the North, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, bordering Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Rwenzori...

 in the east of the country the park authorities regularly confiscate chimpanzees from people who are keeping them as pets. The first recorded contact of Europeans with chimps took place in present-day Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

 during the 17th century. The diary of Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 explorer Duarte Pacheco Pereira
Duarte Pacheco Pereira
Duarte Pacheco Pereira, called the Great, was a 15th century Portuguese sea captain, soldier, explorer and cartographer. He travelled particularly in the central Atlantic Ocean west of the Cape Verde islands, along the coast of West Africa and to India...

 (1506), preserved in the Portuguese National Archive (Torre do Tombo), is probably the first European document to acknowledge that chimpanzees built their own rudimentary tools.

The first use of the name "chimpanzee", however, did not occur until 1738. The name is derived from a Tshiluba language
Tshiluba language
Luba-Kasai is a Bantu language spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it is a national language, along with Lingala, Swahili, and Kikongo. It is one of two major Congolese languages called "Luba"...

 term "kivili-chimpenze", which is the local name for the animal and translates loosely as "mockman" or possibly just "ape". The colloquialism "chimp" was most likely coined some time in the late 1870s. Biologists applied Pan as the genus name of the animal. Chimps as well as other apes had also been purported to have been known to Western writers in ancient times, but mainly as myths and legends on the edge of European and Arab societal consciousness, mainly through fragmented and sketchy accounts of European adventurers. Apes are mentioned variously by Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

, as well as the English Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, where they are described as having been collected by Solomon
Solomon
Solomon , according to the Book of Kings and the Book of Chronicles, a King of Israel and according to the Talmud one of the 48 prophets, is identified as the son of David, also called Jedidiah in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before...

. (1 Kings 10:22. However the Hebrew word, qőf, may mean a monkey.) Apes are mentioned in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 (7:166), where God tells Israelite
Israelite
According to the Bible the Israelites were a Hebrew-speaking people of the Ancient Near East who inhabited the Land of Canaan during the monarchic period .The word "Israelite" derives from the Biblical Hebrew ישראל...

s who transgressed Shabbat
Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

"Be ye apes".

The first of these early transcontinental chimpanzees came from Angola and were presented as a gift to Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange
Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange
Frederick Henry, or Frederik Hendrik in Dutch , was the sovereign Prince of Orange and stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel from 1625 to 1647.-Early life:...

 in 1640, and were followed by a few of its brethren over the next several years. Scientists described these first chimpanzees as "pygmies", and noted the animals' distinct similarities to humans. The next two decades would see a number of the creatures imported into Europe, mainly acquired by various zoological gardens as entertainment for visitors.

Darwin's
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

 theory of natural selection (published in 1859) spurred scientific interest in chimpanzees, as in much of life science
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, leading eventually to numerous studies of the animals in the wild and captivity. The observers of chimpanzees at the time were mainly interested in behaviour as it related to that of humans. This was less strictly and disinterestedly scientific than it might sound, with much attention being focused on whether or not the animals had traits that could be considered 'good'; the intelligence of chimpanzees was often significantly exaggerated, as immortalized in Hugo Rheinhold
Hugo Rheinhold
Wolfgang Hugo Rheinhold was a German sculptor arguably most famous for his Affe mit Schädel . His name is often misspelled Reinhold.-Life:...

's Affe mit Schädel
Affe mit Schädel
The Affe mit Schädel , is a famous work by the late-19th century German sculptor Hugo Rheinhold. The statuette is otherwise known as the “Affe einen Schädel betrachtend”...

 (see image, left). By the end of the 19th century chimpanzees remained very much a mystery to humans, with very little factual scientific information available.

The 20th century saw a new age of scientific research into chimpanzee behaviour. Before 1960, almost nothing was known about chimpanzee behaviour in their natural habitat. In July of that year, Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall
Dame Jane Morris Goodall, DBE , is a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National...

 set out to Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

's Gombe forest to live among the chimpanzees, where she primarily studied the members of the Kasakela chimpanzee community
Kasakela chimpanzee community
The Kasakela chimpanzee community is an inhabited community of wild Eastern chimpanzees that livesin Gombe National Park near Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania. The community was the subject of Dr. Jane Goodall's pioneering study that began in 1960, and studies have continued ever since...

. Her discovery that chimpanzees made and used tools was groundbreaking, as humans were previously believed to be the only species to do so. The most progressive early studies on chimpanzees were spearheaded primarily by Wolfgang Köhler
Wolfgang Köhler
Wolfgang Köhler was a German psychologist and phenomenologist who, like Max Wertheimer, and Kurt Koffka, contributed to the creation of Gestalt psychology.-Early life:...

 and Robert Yerkes
Robert Yerkes
Robert Mearns Yerkes was an American psychologist, ethologist, and primatologist best known for his work in intelligence testing and in the field of comparative psychology....

, both of whom were renowned psychologists. Both men and their colleagues established laboratory studies of chimpanzees focused specifically on learning about the intellectual abilities of chimpanzees, particularly problem-solving. This typically involved basic, practical tests on laboratory chimpanzees, which required a fairly high intellectual capacity (such as how to solve the problem of acquiring an out-of-reach banana
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

). Notably, Yerkes also made extensive observations of chimpanzees in the wild which added tremendously to the scientific understanding of chimpanzees and their behaviour. Yerkes studied chimpanzees until World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, while Köhler concluded five years of study and published his famous Mentality of Apes in 1925 (which is coincidentally when Yerkes began his analyses), eventually concluding that "chimpanzees manifest intelligent behaviour of the general kind familiar in human beings ... a type of behaviour which counts as specifically human" (1925).
The August 2008 issue of the American Journal of Primatology reported results of a year-long study of chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Mahale Mountains National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park lies on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania. Named after the Mahale Mountains range that is within its borders, the park has several unusual characteristics. First, it is one of only two protected areas for chimpanzees in the country...

 which produced evidence that chimpanzees are becoming sick from viral infectious diseases they have likely contracted from humans. Molecular, microscopic and epidemiological investigations demonstrated that the chimpanzees living at Mahale Mountains National Park have been suffering from a respiratory disease that is likely caused by a variant of a human paramyxovirus
Paramyxovirus
Paramyxoviruses are viruses of the Paramyxoviridae family of the Mononegavirales order; they are negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses responsible for a number of human and animal diseases.-Genera:*Subfamily Paramyxovirinae**Genus Avulavirus Paramyxoviruses (from Greek para-, beyond, -myxo-,...

.

Animal research

As of November 2007, there were 1,300 chimpanzees housed in 10 U.S. laboratories (out of 3,000 great apes living in captivity there), either wild-caught, or acquired from circuses, animal trainers, or zoos. Most of the labs either conduct or make the chimps available for invasive research, defined as "inoculation with an infectious agent, surgery or biopsy conducted for the sake of research and not for the sake of the chimpanzee, and/or drug testing". Two federally-funded laboratories use chimps: Yerkes National Primate Research Laboratory at Emory University
Emory University
Emory University is a private research university in metropolitan Atlanta, located in the Druid Hills section of unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The university was founded as Emory College in 1836 in Oxford, Georgia by a small group of Methodists and was named in honor of...

 in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Southwest National Primate Center in San Antonio, Texas. Five hundred chimps have been retired from laboratory use in the U.S. and live in sanctuaries in the U.S. or Canada.
Chimpanzees used in biomedical research tend to be used repeatedly over decades, rather than used and killed as with most laboratory animals. Some individual chimps currently in U.S. laboratories have been used in experiments for over 40 years. According to Project R&R, a campaign to release chimps held in U.S. labs—run by the New England Anti-Vivisection Society in conjunction with Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall
Dame Jane Morris Goodall, DBE , is a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National...

 and other primate researchers—the oldest known chimp in a U.S. lab is Wenka, who was born in a laboratory in Florida on May 21, 1954. She was removed from her mother on the day of birth to be used in a vision experiment that lasted 17 months, then sold as a pet to a family in North Carolina. She was returned to the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in 1957 when she became too big to handle. Since then, she has given birth six times, and has been used in research into alcohol use, oral contraceptives, ageing, and cognitive studies.

With the publication of the chimpanzee genome, there are reportedly plans to increase the use of chimps in labs, with some scientists arguing that the federal moratorium on breeding chimps for research should be lifted. A five-year moratorium was imposed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1996, because too many chimps had been bred for HIV research, and it has been extended annually since 2001.

Other researchers argue that chimps are unique animals and either should not be used in research, or should be treated differently. Pascal Gagneux, an evolutionary biologist and primate expert at the University of California, San Diego
University of California, San Diego
The University of California, San Diego, commonly known as UCSD or UC San Diego, is a public research university located in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California, United States...

, argues that, given chimpanzees' sense of self, tool use, and genetic similarity to human beings, studies using chimps should follow the ethical guidelines that are used for human subjects unable to give consent. Also, a recent study suggests that chimpanzees which are retired from labs exhibit a form of posttraumatic stress disorder. Stuart Zola, director of the Yerkes National Primate Research Laboratory, disagrees. He told National Geographic: "I don't think we should make a distinction between our obligation to treat humanely any species, whether it's a rat or a monkey or a chimpanzee. No matter how much we may wish it, chimps are not human."

An increasing number of governments are enacting a Great Ape research ban
Great Ape research ban
A great ape research ban, or severe restrictions on the use of non-human great apes in research, is currently in place in the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and Austria. These countries have ruled that chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans are cognitively so...

 forbidding the use of chimpanzees and other great apes in research or toxicology testing. As of 2006, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, and the UK had introduced such bans.

In popular culture

Chimpanzees have been commonly stereotyped in popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

, where they are most often cast in standardized roles as childlike companions, sidekicks
Sidekick
A sidekick is a close companion who is generally regarded as subordinate to the one he accompanies. Some well-known fictional sidekicks are Don Quixote's Sancho Panza, Sherlock Holmes' Doctor Watson, The Lone Ranger's Tonto, The Green Hornet's Kato and Batman's Robin.-Origins:The origin of the...

 or clowns. They are especially suited for the latter role on account of their prominent facial features, long limbs and fast movements, which humans often find amusing. Accordingly, entertainment acts featuring chimpanzees dressed up as humans have been traditional staples of circus
Circus
A circus is commonly a travelling company of performers that may include clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented artists...

es and stage show
Stage Show
Stage Show was a popular music variety series on American television originally hosted on alternate weeks by big band leaders and brothers Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. Produced by Jackie Gleason, the CBS-TV show included the first national television appearances by Elvis Presley.The series began as a...

s.

In the age of television, a new genre of chimp act emerged in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

: series whose cast consisted entirely of chimpanzees dressed as humans and "speaking" lines dubbed by human actors. These shows, examples of which include Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp
Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp
Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp is an American action/adventure comedy series that originally aired on ABC from September 12, 1970, to September 2, 1972...

in the 1970s or The Chimp Channel
The Chimp Channel
The Chimp Channel is an American comedy television series which aired on TBS Superstation in 1999. Based on the highly popular Monkey-ed Movies interstitials that TBS aired one year prior. It is the network's first original sitcom...

in the 1990s, relied on the novelty of their ape cast to make their timeworn, low comedy
Low comedy
Low comedy is a type of comedy characterized by "horseplay", slapstick or farce. Examples include somebody throwing a custard pie in another's face. This definition has also expanded to include lewd types of comedy that rely on physical jokes, for example, the wedgie.- History :This type of comedy...

 gags funny. Their chimpanzee "actors" were as interchangeable as the apes in a circus act, being amusing as chimpanzees and not as individuals. Animal rights group, PETA
Peta
Peta can refer to:* peta-, an SI prefix denoting a factor of 1015* Peta, Greece, a town in Greece* Peta, the Pāli word for a Preta, or hungry ghost in Buddhism* Peta Wilson, an Australian actress and model* Peta Todd, English glamour model...

, has urged advertisers against the use of chimpanzees in television and commercials, citing animal abuse. In a recent success, they convinced Chrysler Corporation to change a commercial in which a chimpanzee presses a lever to blow something up into showing an "invisible monkey" (ironically the commercial was a parody of car dealerships that have a monkey blow something up to begin a sales promotion).

When chimpanzees appear in other TV shows, they generally do so as comic relief
Comic relief
Comic relief is the inclusion of a humorous character, scene or witty dialogue in an otherwise serious work, often to relieve tension.-Definition:...

 sidekick
Sidekick
A sidekick is a close companion who is generally regarded as subordinate to the one he accompanies. Some well-known fictional sidekicks are Don Quixote's Sancho Panza, Sherlock Holmes' Doctor Watson, The Lone Ranger's Tonto, The Green Hornet's Kato and Batman's Robin.-Origins:The origin of the...

s to humans. In that role, for instance, J. Fred Muggs
J. Fred Muggs
J. Fred Muggs is a chimpanzee that was the mascot for NBC's Today Show from 1953 to 1957.The show debuted in 1952, with amiable host Dave Garroway. The show was in trouble initially; the addition of J. Fred Muggs boosted ratings and helped win advertisers...

 appeared with Today Show host Dave Garroway
Dave Garroway
David Cunningham "Dave" Garroway was the founding host of NBC's Today from 1952 to 1961. His easygoing, relaxed, and relaxing style belied a battle with depression that may have contributed to the end of his days as a leading television personality—and, eventually, his life...

 in the 1950s, Judy on Daktari
Daktari
Daktari is an American children's drama series that aired on CBS between 1966 and 1969. The series, an Ivan Tors Films Production in association with MGM Television, stars Marshall Thompson as Dr. Marsh Tracy, a veterinarian at the fictional Wameru Study Centre for Animal Behaviour in East...

in the 1960s or Darwin on The Wild Thornberrys
The Wild Thornberrys
The Wild Thornberrys is an American animated television series that aired on Nickelodeon. It was rerun in the USA on Nickelodeon and occasionally The N until 2009 and Nicktoons until 2007...

in the 1990s. In contrast to the fictional depictions of other animals, such as dogs (as in Lassie
Lassie
Lassie is a fictional collie dog character created by Eric Knight in a short story expanded to novel length called Lassie Come-Home. Published in 1940, the novel was filmed by MGM in 1943 as Lassie Come Home with a dog named Pal playing Lassie. Pal then appeared with the stage name "Lassie" in six...

), dolphins (Flipper
Flipper (1964 TV series)
Flipper, from Ivan Tors Films in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television, is an American television program first broadcast on NBC from September 19, 1964, until April 15, 1967. Flipper, a bottlenose dolphin, is the companion animal of Porter Ricks, Chief Warden at fictional Coral Key Park...

), horses (The Black Stallion
The Black Stallion
The Black Stallion, known as "the Black" or "Shêtân", is the title character from author Walter Farley's bestselling series about the stallion and his young owner, Alec Ramsay...

) or even other great apes (King Kong
King Kong
King Kong is a fictional character, a giant movie monster resembling a gorilla, that has appeared in several movies since 1933. These include the groundbreaking 1933 movie, the film remakes of 1976 and 2005, as well as various sequels of the first two films...

), chimpanzee characters and actions are rarely relevant to the plot.

Portrayals in science fiction

The rare depictions of chimpanzees as individuals rather than stock characters, and as central rather than incidental to the plot are generally found in works of science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

. Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American science fiction writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers", he was one of the most influential and controversial authors of the genre. He set a standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of...

's short story
Short story
A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas and novels. Short story definitions based on length differ somewhat, even among professional writers, in part because...

 "Jerry Was a Man
Jerry Was a Man
Jerry Was a Man is a short story by Robert A. Heinlein. It is about an attempt by a genetically modified chimpanzee to achieve human rights...

" (1947) centers on a genetically enhanced
Biological uplift
In science fiction, uplift is the development or transformation of animals into an intelligent race by other, already-intelligent beings. The concept appears in David Brin's Uplift series and other science fiction works.-History of the concept:...

 chimpanzee suing for better treatment. The 1972 film Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is a 1972 science fiction film directed by J. Lee Thompson. It is the fourth of five films in the original Planet of the Apes series produced by Arthur P. Jacobs. It explores how the apes rebelled from mankind's ill treatment following Escape from the Planet of...

, portrays a futuristic revolt of enslaved apes led by the only talking chimpanzee, Caesar, against their human masters. Another short story "The Pope of the Chimps" by Robert Silverberg
Robert Silverberg
Robert Silverberg is an American author, best known for writing science fiction. He is a multiple nominee of the Hugo Award and a winner of the Nebula Award.-Early years:...

, set in the present day, shows the development of the first signs of religiosity
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 in a group of chimpanzees, much to the surprise of the humans observing them. David Brin
David Brin
Glen David Brin, Ph.D. is an American scientist and award-winning author of science fiction. He has received the Hugo, Locus, Campbell and Nebula Awards.-Biography:...

's Uplift novels
Uplift Universe
The Uplift Universe is a fictional universe created by science fiction writer David Brin. A central feature in this universe is the process of biological uplift.His books which take place in this universe:* Sundiver...

 present a future in which humans have "uplifted"
Biological uplift
In science fiction, uplift is the development or transformation of animals into an intelligent race by other, already-intelligent beings. The concept appears in David Brin's Uplift series and other science fiction works.-History of the concept:...

 chimpanzees (and certain other species) with human-level sapience.

See also

  • Chimp Haven
  • Chimpanzee genome project
    Chimpanzee genome project
    The Chimpanzee Genome Project is an effort to determine the DNA sequence of the Chimpanzee genome. It is expected that by comparing the genomes of humans and other apes, it will be possible to better understand what makes humans distinct from other species....

  • Great ape personhood
    Great Ape personhood
    Great ape personhood is a movement to create legal recognition of bonobos, common chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans as bona fide persons.-First steps:...

  • List of apes
  • Bili ape
    Bili Ape
    Bili Ape, also Bondo Mystery Ape, is the name given to a large chimpanzee that inhabits Bili Forest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo....



Further reading

  • Hawks, John
    John D. Hawks
    John Hawks is a professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He also is the author of a widely read paleoanthropology blog.-Biography:...

    . "How Strong Is a Chimpanzee?" Slate
    Slate (magazine)
    Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

    , February 25, 2009.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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