Chimpanzee Physical Characteristics and Locomotion

Written By: Dani Sarusi, Coordinator, Community Engagement, JGI Canada
Category: Great Apes

How well do you know your closest living relative? Chimpanzees and humans are more alike than different, sharing 99% of our DNA. Baby chimps spend the first five years in a close bond with their mothers, and family bonds endure throughout lifetimes. Chimpanzees can be afflicted with diseases that affect humans. Like us, they have a sense of humour, and will laugh when tickled. Check out these other chimpanzee facts.

Chimpanzees have black hair, not fur.

Sometimes they have white whiskers on their chin.

Like humans, chimps have flat faces.

Their forward-facing eyes and small noses mean they rely more on their sense of sight than on their sense of smell.

They have bare skin on their palms, hands, and soles of their feet.

They have longer arms than legs which is why they walk on the soles of their feet and knuckles of their hands.

Their opposable thumbs and big toes which enable a precision grip on branches.