Chimpanzee facts in Uganda.
Chimpanzee facts- Chimpanzees and Human beings are close relatives that share the same DNA of 98 percent. Uganda harbors over 5000 of these chimpanzee primates which are found in different destinations that is National Parks and wildlife reserves. Kibale Forest National Park contains the highest number of these Chimpanzee facts and is the best spot during chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, other destinations include; Budongo forest in Murchison Falls National Park, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Ngamba island, Toro-Semuliki wildlife reserve, and many more. Chimpanzee trekking is one of the most interesting activities that you wouldn’t miss on your Uganda safaris because spending time with these amazing creatures in their natural habitat leaves you with beautiful memories.
The following are the chimpanzee fun facts:
Chimpanzee facts- Chimpanzees are socially flexible primates that live in groups of 30- 80 individuals of males, females and young ones with the life span of 50in the wild and 60 years under captivity. They live in fissoin- fussion social groups and can leave or join with unlimited freedom. They spend most of their time in small temporary groups known as parties but at times also associate with bigger groups known as communities.
Chimpanzees are one of the few animals that use tools, these include sticks to retrieve termites from their from their mounds, stones to open up appetizing nut contents and leaf- sponges to soak up drinking water.
The chimpanzee brains are more advanced compared to other animals in the wild. Some chimpanzees have been intelligent enough to learn sign language by the help of human specialists. Their ability to use tools is an obvious sign of their intelligence as well.
Chimpanzees make around 30 vocals to share how they feel. The most common and loudest is pant-hoot a long- distance call used for a variety of social reasons, its normally sounded by an adult chimp especially during an excitement and particularly keeping in touch with other troop members.
Chimpanzees mostly inhabit in forests including savannah woodland and low land forests.
Some chimpanzees have adopted arid areas like Senegal and Tanzania in savannas, swamp forests and open forests. Basing on their diet, forests contain perfect shelter and food for chimpanzees.
Kibale forest National Park in Uganda inhabits the largest number of chimpanzees and is the most popular for chimpanzee trekking. Other areas include Ngamba island, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison falls amongst others.
Female chimpanzees reach the sexual maturity stage at the age of 10to 12 years. They engage in sexual practices not just for reproduction but also for social unity. Unlike humans, these female chimpanzees exhibit large pink swellings around the anogenital region as an alerting sign to the males that she is ready to mate.
Although not seasonal breeders females do have an oestrous cycle, and the number of oestrus females in a group at any one time can vary by season. The gestation period of chimpanzees lasts 8months and they mostly give birth to one infant. This infant clings tightly to its mother’s fur for its first 30days and then take rides on her back until like two years of age.
What chimpanzees eat
Chimpanzees are omnivores but they mostly eat fruits than any thing. They also eat Insects like aunts, honey, birds, eggs and meat, though most of their diet comes from bits of plants like seeds, leaves, roots and more. Chimpanzees are primarily vegetarians.
Chimpanzees have also been documented for hunting smaller primates like monkeys and also other animals like antelopes, wild pig and more for meat. However, meat contributes like 2% of their diet and their average diet is plants and fruits.
Chimpanzees have a height of about 1.7 meters. They have longer hands than their legs and get around by climbing and swinging through trees. Chimpanzees can also walk on soles of their feet and knuckles of their long hands but an also walk upright on two feet if they want to.
The skin on the face of chimpanzees, ears, palms, and soles of the feet is bare, and the rest of the body is covered with brown to black hair.
Chimpanzee life span
Chimpanzees will live up to 60 years but the oldest chimp in the wild was estimated to have lived up to 63 years when she died.
This long lifespan is however affected by factors like the availability of good habitat with food and low predation. Human encroachment on land is the biggest threat for chimpanzees. It inhabits a productive, healthy forest with low levels of human disturbance, so it might be a more accurate reflection of natural chimpanzee lifespan.
Strength of chimpanzees
Chimpanzees are enormously strong, estimated to be around four times stronger than a human of a similar size. They can reach speeds of 25mph (40kph) when running, and that’s not even what they’re built for.
Their arms are designed to swing them through the trees, and they have a much higher proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers, which seems to be what gives chimpanzees their extraordinary strength.
Classification of chimpanzees
Chimpanzees are categorized under the four great apes. These include the Gorillas, Bonobo (dwarf or pygmy chimpanzee), Orangutans (translation – man of the forest) and Chimpanzees. These great apes are closely related to humans and it is scientifically said that humans and the four great apes descended from a single species, and evolved to meet their survival needs.
The scientific name of Chimpanzee is ‘Pan troglodytes’ classified under the Hominidae family. This is due to the lack of tails and shorter spine – that is built for standing and sitting in upright positions much like us humans do.
Chimpanzee trekking is one of those major highlights on a Uganda safari. Chimps tracking takes about 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on where they are located in that they like to move from one place to another in search of food. Each party is therefore tracked by 6 people. Once you have found the chimpanzees, you are allowed only one hour to view and photograph them.