Chimpanzee gestation period

Chimpanzee gestation period | Chimpanzee Reproduction

Chimpanzee gestation period

Chimpanzee gestation period, chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), also known as the common chimpanzee, is a species of great ape native to the forests and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. The chimpanzee and the closely related bonobos sometimes called the “pygmy chimpanzee” are classified in the genus pan.

Evidence from fossils and DNA sequencing shows that pan is a sister taxon to the human lineage and is the closest living relative next to humans.

The chimpanzee is covered in coarse black hair but has a bare face, fingers, toes, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. It is larger and more robust than the bonobo, weighing 40–60 kg (88–132lb) for males and 27–50 kg (60–110lb) for females and standing 100 to 140 cm (3.3 to 4.6ft).

Chimpanzee gestation period

Its gestation period is eight months and the infant is weaned at about three years old, but usually maintains a close relationship with its mother for several years more. The chimpanzee lives in groups that range in size from 15 -150 members, although individuals travel and forage in much smaller groups during the day.

The species lives in a strict male-dominated hierarchy, where disputes are generally settled without the need for violence. Nearly all chimpanzee populations have been recorded using tools, modifying sticks, rocks, grass, and leaves and using them for hunting and acquiring honey, termites, ants, nuts, and water. The species has also been found creating sharpened sticks to spear small mammals.

Breeding

Chimpanzees breed all year round whenever one of the females in the troop comes into season. Female chimpanzees have menstrual cycles very like humans and come into oestrus every 36 days, unless they are pregnant. They give birth about every 3-4 years after a gestation period (time between fertilisation of the egg and birth of the baby) of 8 months. A female may be mated by all the males in a troop, regardless of their social standing, who show no sign of competition between themselves.

Usually only one baby is born and twins are rare. If it is the female’s first baby, she often appears not to know quite what to do with it! However, by a combination of instinct, watching more experienced mothers with their babies, and learning, she soon starts to care for it. For the first 5 months of its life the baby chimpanzee is carried everywhere by its mother, and clings tightly to her fur. It begins to walk at about 6 months and weighs 9kg at a year old. The baby is dependent on its mother for at least two years, sometimes still riding on her back for periods at 4 years old. By this time, the mother will have another baby and the elder one has to fend for itself. It spends much if its time with chimpanzees of its own age and for the next 4 or 5 years learns where the best feeding places are and how to behave as a senior member of its troop.

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