Probably the Chimpanzees are the most famous of the Monkeys. They have become part of human culture with Cheetah appearing with Tarzan for decades and decades on TV and film. Many TV commercials and comedy shows would have Chimpanzees appearing as they look cute and they act cheeky. But, what do you know about these great Monkeys?
Chimpanzee communities may range in size from 15 to 120 chimps of both sexes and all ages. Chimps live in what is coined a “fission-fusion society” in which all community members know each other but feed, travel, and sleep in much smaller groups of six or fewer. The makeup of these smaller groups changes frequently when parties meet, intermingle, and disperse in different combinations or when somebody decides to drop out.At times, community members have large gatherings in which at least half the community is present. Gatherings are highly social events where group members play, breed, and groom. Jane Goodall describes gatherings as “the hub of chimpanzee social life.”Chimpanzees do have a hierarchy, and generally each community has an alpha male who is considered the most powerful member of the group. However, a male’s success as alpha is often dependent upon the support of the females, conferring upon them a great deal of influence as well. Chimp hierarchies are not a strict “pecking order”, but are complex, fluid, flexible, and change often.