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Discover the Wonders of our Primate Cousins: Top 8 Fun and Fascinating Facts about Chimpanzees

illustration of chimpanzees
Get ready to go bananas as we swing into the fascinating world of chimpanzees with these irresistibly fun facts!

1. Boozy Brunch Chimps

Forget happy hour - these party animals have their own boozy brunch: Chimpanzees in Guinea enjoy sipping naturally fermented palm wine with homemade leaf sponges, and have been observed getting tipsy, consuming up to 85ml of alcohol, equivalent to a bottle of wine for humans - making them the first wild apes to be recorded indulging in a spot of voluntary day drinking.
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2. Right-Handed Tool-Users

Chimpanzees prove that the right hand doesn't always know what the left hand is doing – but when it comes to cracking nuts and dipping for honey, it's a different story: Studies show that wild chimpanzees display population-level right-handedness for specific tool-use behaviors, although individual hand preferences for everyday actions are still a bit of a toss-up.
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3. Gossip Queen Chimps

Envision a group of chimpanzees at their local watering hole, chatting away with more depth and nuance than a Shakespearean sonnet or a Kardashian tweet: It turns out that chimps possess an incredible understanding of social dynamics, using a wide range of gestures and facial expressions to maintain complex communication with one another – truly the gossip queens of the animal kingdom.
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4. Monkey Business Degree

Hey, who says you can't teach an old chimp new tricks? It seems like your favorite primates might have been acing their puzzle-problem exams all behind our hairy backs: A recent study revealed that captive chimpanzees display varied physical cognitive skills based on their level of human exposure and prior experience with cognitive testing. Moreover, chimps who arrived at sanctuaries at earlier ages and spent more time in captivity demonstrated better problem-solving abilities. Talk about a literal monkey business degree, huh?
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Bonobo Adoption Agency

5. Bonobo Adoption Agency

Step aside, Mother Teresa: Bonobos are the real masters of adoption! Best known for their pacifist ways and frisky antics, these great apes have a softer side that's warm enough to melt even the iciest of hearts. You see, unlike other primates, bonobos have a knack for waltzing into other communities, spotting orphan infants, and whisking them away for a lifetime of love and care that puts even Charles Dickens' tales to shame: In fact, bonobos are one of the only nonhuman primates known to adopt orphan infants from outside their community, offering attentive care and even nursing their adoptees, and showcasing their empathetic, cooperative nature that goes beyond genetic ties.
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6. Chimp Rain Dance Party

Even the King of Pop himself would've been jealous of chimpanzees: they've got their own version of a rain dance that includes rhythmic swaggering, foot-drumming on tree buttresses, ground-slapping, dramatic vegetation-breaking, and loud vocalizations, all while charging through the rainforest during thunderstorms.
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7. Termite Fishing Chimps

Who needs a fishing rod when you've got a stick and a mouth full of termites? Welcome to the chimp life: Chimpanzees surprisingly exhibit high cognitive intelligence by using sticks as tools to fish for termites and ants, even going the extra mile in modifying their tools for a more efficient gourmet insect experience.
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8. Chimpan-Zzz's Cozy Beds

Chimpanzees must have attended the same sleep therapy seminars as Goldilocks, knowing that finding the perfect bed is a must for a good night's sleep: These primates meticulously select branches from specific tree species to craft their cozy nests up in the canopies, ensuring 8-9 hours of quality slumber each night, according to a study published in PLOS ONE. Experts believe that this obsession with top-notch bedding materials may have played a crucial role in the evolution of modern humans.
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