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Chimpanzees In Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe National Park is the only park where you can trek habituated Chimpanzees in Rwanda, approximately 500 chimpanzees live in Nyungwe National Park.
Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) stand alongside gorillas as the only great apes of Africa. And, it is, in large part, our close evolutionary kinship with chimpanzees that makes these distinctive black coated apes of the forest so enduringly fascinating.
Chimpanzees share about 98.7% of our DNA and it is universally agreed that humans, chimpanzees, bonobos (also known pygmy chimpanzees) are more closely related to each other than to any other living creature, including gorillas.
A few superficial differences notwithstanding, the similarities between humans and chimps are consistently striking, not only with regard to their skeletal and skull structure, but also the nervous system, the immune system, and many of their behaviour such as complex social intelligence and communication skills and their ability to fashion and use tools.
Social behaviours of chimpanzees
- Unlike most other primates, chimpanzees don’t live troops but in extended communities of up 150 individuals, which roam the forest in small, temporary groups, a behaviour that has been dubbed fission-fusion by anthropologists.
- These small, socially mobile groups may include groups of four types: all-male, adult females and offspring, both sexes, or one female and her offspring.
- The fission-fusion society emerges in a variety of types, for a variety of purposes. For example, an all-male troop may be organised to hunt for meat, while a group consisting of lactating females serves to act as a “nursery group” for the young.
- Within the chimpanzee communities, males form the core of the social structure. They are responsible for patrolling the territory, protecting the group members, and searching for food.
- Among males in the chimpanzee community, one alpha male is normally recognised. Alpha males tend to be aggressive even during dominance stability. This is probably due to the chimp’s fission-fusion society, with male chimps leaving groups and returning after extended periods of time.
- With this, a dominant male is unsure if any “political maneuvering” has occurred and must re-establish his dominance. Thus, a large amount of aggression occurs 5–15 minutes after a reunion. During aggressive encounters, displays are preferred to attacks.
Size Of Chimpanzees
- Adult chimpanzees have an average standing height of 4 feet.
- Wild adult male chimpanzees weigh up to 60 kilograms and female weigh up 47 kilograms.