Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Chimpanzee, any anthropoid ape of the genus Anthropopithecus, from tropical Africa. (The name Troglodytes, though still found in text-books, should be dropped, as it properly designates a genus of birds, of which the Wren (q.v.) is the type.) The species are of large size, with very long arms, long narrow hands, and feet that can be planted flat on the ground so that an erect or nearly erect posture can be readily maintained, though their favourite mode of progression on the ground is a kind of canter on all-fours, the back of the knuckles being called into play. There are no callosities on the haunches, nor is there a tail. These animals dwell in the deep forests, and are partially arboreal in habit. They are said to form small societies and to build a kind of shelter for the female and her young in the branches of trees, the male passing the night on the ground. Their diet is chiefly fruit, but, at least in the case of the Bald-headed Chimpanzee, probably varied in the wild state, as it certainly is in captivity, by small mammals and birds. The number of species is not determined; but, omitting the gorilla (q.v.) as being possibly entitled to generic rank, two seem to be well defined; the Common Chimpanzee (A. troglodytes, Troglodytes niger) and the Bald-headed Chimpanzee (A. calvus, provisionally assumed to be the T. calvus of Du Chaillu). The first-named is by far the better known, many species having been exhibited in England from time to time. The body, forehead, and cheeks are covered with long harsh black hair; the face is a dirty flesh-colour; the chin and upper lip are covered with long white hair; the hands and feet are brownish, and the hair on the rump is white and long. "Sally," the Bald-headed Chimpanzee, which was acquired by the Zoological Society in 1883 and lived in the Gardens for about eight years, is the best known example of the second form, only one other example having been brought alive to this country or indeed to Europe. The chief external marks which differentiate the Bald-headed from the Common Chimpanzee are the scanty covering of hair on the body, the large naked ears standing out nearly at right angles to the head, which is thinly covered with short black hair, and the much darker colour of the skin of the face, ears, and limbs. (Proceedings of the Zoological Society, 1885, p. 673; 1889, p. 316; Nature, Jan. 10, 1889.)