Chimpanzees (sometimes called chimps) are an exclusively African species of extant great ape. Native to subsaharan Africa, chimpanzees are currently found in the Congo jungle. Classified in the genus Pan, chimpanzees were considered to be one species. However, since 1928, they have been divided into two species: the chimpanzee (P. troglodytes) and the bonobo (P. paniscus). In addition, the chimpanzee is divided into five subspecies. Based on genome sequencing, the two extant Pan species diverged around one million years ago.

Their hair is typically black or brown. Males and females differ in size and appearance. Chimps and bonobos are some of the most social great apes, with social bonds occurring in large communities. Fruit is the most important component of an chimpanzee's diet; however, the apes will also eat vegetation, bark, honey, insects and even other chimps. They can live over 30 years in both the wild and captivity.

Chimpanzees are humanity's closest living relative. As such, they are among the most intelligent primates; they use a variety of sophisticated tools and construct elaborate sleeping nests each night from branches and foliage. The apes have been extensively studied for their learning abilities. There may even be distinctive cultures within populations. Field studies of the apes were pioneered by primatologist Jane Goodall. Both chimpanzee species are considered to be Endangered. Human activities have caused severe declines in the populations and ranges of both species. Threats to wild chimp populations include poaching, habitat destruction, and the illegal pet trade. Several conservation and rehabilitation organisations are dedicated to the survival of chimpanzees in the wild.

"We long to be here for a purpose, even though, despite much self-deception, none is evident."
Carl Sagan
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