|[Richtlijnen voor opmerkingen] Opmerking van de fotograaf|
|Budapest ZOO 2002 July|
Common Chimpanzees are found in the tropical forests and wet savannas of Western and Central Africa. They once inhabited most of this region, but their habitat has been dramatically reduced in recent years.
Adults in the wild weigh between 40 and 65 kg (88 and 143 lb); males can measure up to 160 cm (63 inches) and females to 130 cm (51 inches), and although lighter than humans they have a pull five to six times stronger. This is because the muscles of the Common Chimpanzee and other primates are far more effective than those of humans. Its body is covered by a coarse dark brown hair, except for the face, fingers, toes, palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Both of its thumbs and its big toes are opposable, allowing a precision grip. Its gestation period is eight months. Infants are weaned when they are about three years old, but usually maintain a close relationship with their mother for several more years; they reach puberty at the age of eight to ten, and their lifespan in captivity is about fifty years.
Although omnivorous, its diet is mainly vegetarian, consisting of fruits, leaves, nuts, seeds, tubers, and other miscellaneous vegetation, supplemented by insects and small prey. There are also instances of organized hunting; in some cases, such as the killing of Leopard cubs, this primarily seems to be a protective effort, since the Leopard is the main natural predator of the Common Chimpanzee. However, the Common Chimpanzee sometimes band together and hunt Western Red Colobus Monkeys (Piliocolobus badius) for meat. Isolated cases of cannibalism have been documented. Chimpanzees have also been known on rare occasions to attack and eat human infants.
The West African Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) is the only animal besides humans known to routinely create and use specialized tools specifically for hunting. Chimpanzees near KÚdougou, Senegal were observed to create spears by breaking off tree limbs, stripping them of their bark, and sharpening one end with their teeth. They then used these weapons to kill galagos sleeping in hollows
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