The chimpanzee lives in the rain forest and savannah of equatorial Africa. Chimpanzees are typically 1 to 1.7 m (3 to 5.5 ft.) tall and weigh 40 to 55 kg (88 to 120 lb.). They have light-coloured, black or mottled skin, and large protruding ears. Their black hair turns white with age.
Chimpanzees live and travel in small groups. They eat plants, ants, termites, and occasionally, small monkeys, pigs and antelopes. They apparently delight in their own sounds, communicating and expressing their moods with a variety of hoots, grunts, roars and screams. Chimpanzees have also demonstrated the ability to use and make tools, share and cooperate for the common good, express complex emotions and communicate using human sign language.
Partly because of their intelligence, these animals have been used extensively for scientific research. In 1961, a chimpanzee named Ham orbited the Earth in a rocket, preceding human astronauts. The demand for live chimpanzees for zoos and research has led to a significant decline in their population. Survival of the species is endangered in the wild.