Chimp essay By Roy Riedel Chimpanzees are our closest relatives due to the fact that they share ninety eight and a half percent of their dna with us homo sapiens or humans. There are many similarities between chimpanzees and humans.
Their behavior as we have come to find out over the many years of research is very similar but also is very different in other ways to that of human beings. A chimpanzee’s childhood is very much the same as a humans childhood is. They are dependent on their mothers, and the behavior they learn during this period will shape the social skills that they will have and need as they grow into adult chimpanzees.Good chimpanzee mothers are very patient and pay close attention to their young and are always there to lend a helping hand, while at the same time allowing their young to learn through trial and error. A chimpanzee uses various forms of communication depending on which chimpanzee community you are observing.
It is almost like they mimic each other to create a group dialect and the sounds are different in every chimp community. Chimp’s use something called “Pant-Hoots” to identify themselves. Facial expressions are used to communicate such things as aggression, excitement, frustration, playfulness and submission.Chimpanzee’s male and female have a thing called a social hierarchy.
For male chimps there are three different kinds of males the alpha male who is the leader of the group and shows it with brute force. There are beta males who basically serve the alpha male as his gang to assist and protect him. The last one is the gamma male who is the lowest one on the chain of command; they will stay on the outer region of the community and protect it from invading strangers.
Gamma males will often try to overthrow the alpha male and appoint one of the gamma males to the alpha position.In the female hierarchy it is a little bit different it is not run by brute force but by who is the most skillful and who can be good at raising their young. The alpha female doesn’t maintain her position as the leader through force but more by respect which makes the female hierarchy more stable. Altruism is something practiced and has been observed by chimpanzees. They will often go to the aid of another even with the risk of getting hurt themselves. Altruism usually happens with the closest kin to defend them against another chimp with no relation or genes at all.It is also not uncommon for a male chimp to aid another if he is being threatened or attacked by another more dominant chimp. Grooming is one of the most important social behaviors chimpanzees have.
Some chimpanzees groom while grabbing trees and some groom while clasping hands and some other methods are used. Grooming is used for various reasons by chimpanzees it relaxes tension in the group which will limit threats and aggression another would be the obvious to remove debris or dried skin from hair. They also use specific plants to cleanse themselves of parasites as a form of self-medication.
Tool use is something that is very fascinating that chimps do, we as man were known for a long time as “Man the tool maker” until scientists observed chimpanzees using various tools to catch their food. Some of the ways that chimps catch their food which I feel to be ingenious is to get a branch and strip the leaves and use it for “termite fishing” or “ant fishing” which most scientists themselves have tried and aren’t very good at. Some chimpanzees in West Africa use logs to break open palm nut’s which has only been observed in West Africa. Their ability to create basically a fishing rod shows very complex behavior very close to humans.
Chimpanzees are very much like humans except for that one and a half percent dna difference and the two chromosomes and the fact that they are quadruped’s not bipedal. Their behavior though is much like our own and they live in very complex social communities and have so many similarities to humans it’s very incredible. I believe that there still is a lot to learn from chimpanzees in the future and believe we have only touched the surface on discovery with their species.Works Cited Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees: IMAX. 2002, DVD.
Goodall, Jane. “The ABC’s of chimpanzee behavior. ” Lessons for hope. N. p. , 2010. Web. 15 Oct 2010.