Is the Chimpanzee a Monkey?

The chimpanzee is a monkey, but it is a special kind of monkey, it is the most intelligent one of all! Monkeys belong to the highest order of mammals called “primates”, which includes man.

All monkeys are covered with hair, usually live in trees, and have nails instead of claws on each of their five fingers and toes. Monkeys may be divided into four general groups : the lemurs ; The Old World monkeys, including baboons, leaf monkeys, and others; and the apes, including the gorilla, orang utan , chimpanzee, and gibbon.

Of the three manlike apes, the orang utan, the chimpanzee, and the gorilla, the one that is most like man is the chimpanzee. This ape is smaller than either the gorilla or the orang utan, and it is more intelligent then either of the others.


The body of the chimpanzee, which has no tail, is similar to that of man, except that the chimpanzee has 13 pairs of ribs and man usually has only 12pairs. Its flesh-coloured skin is covered with coarse, black hair, except on the hands and face.

As it grows older, grey hairs appear about the mouth and the skin becomes dusky or black. Chimpanzee live in small bands in central African forests, from Sierra Leone eastwards to lake Victoria. They are captured quite easily, and life quite well in zoos.

Sometimes they become so attached to favourite keepers in zoos that they will cry for them when sick! Scientists who have studied them say there are at least 20 separate sound that might be called a “chimpanzee language”.

On the ground they walk and run on all fours, and use their knuckles to support the weight of their trunk. A male chimpanzee may weigh as much as 70 kilograms and be about 1.5 meters tall, though most of them are some what smaller.

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