Millions of hours have been spend studying
the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) for one major reason: chimpanzee and human genes are 98 per cent alike. The chimp is cunning, aggressive, inquisitive, strongly hierarchial but also inventive and capable of learning. Like Homo sapiens it also makes war. The legendary primate researcher Jane Goodall recorded one instance in the Gombe National Park, Tanzania, of a conflict between two chimp communities which ended with the annihilation of the smaller group.
One hundred years ago there were probably about a million chimps in Africa. Now there are about 200,000, due mainly to land clearance for agricultural and logging, killing for meat and capture for zoos. The chimp uses tools (sticks to dig out ants, stones to break open nuts, leaves to carry water) and can be taught to communicate with humans - and other chimps - using rudimentary sign language.