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Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, sharing more than 98 percent of our genetic blueprint. Humans and chimps are also thought to share a common ancestor who lived some four to eight million years ago.Chimpanzees live in social communities of several dozen animals, and can habituate themselves to African rain forests, woodlands, and grasslands.In their habitat in the forests of central Africa, chimpanzees spend most of their days in the tree tops. When they do come down to earth, chimps usually travel on all fours, though they can walk on their legs like humans for as far as a mile. They use sticks to fish termites out of mounds and bunches of leaves to sop up drinking water. Chimpanzees are omnivores, meaning they eat a wide variety of foods that includes fruits, nuts, seeds, and insects. Chimps occasionally hunt and eat meat.An estimated 100,000 to 200,000 chimpanzees remain in the wild.Chimpanzees can be found in 21 African countries. Chimps prefer dense tropical rainforests but can also be found in secondary-growth forests, woodlands, bamboo forests, swamps, and even open savannah.Habitat destruction is the greatest threat of the chimpanzee. Large population decreases are also blamed on hunting and commercial exportation.
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