What Kind of Food Does a Chimpanzee Eat?

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The chimpanzees of central Africa, one of the world's four great ape species, subsist on a diverse omnivorous diet. It's composed largely of plant matter but also includes insects, meat and even eggs. Considered highly intelligent creatures, chimpanzees are known to use tools to access food. They have been observed, for example, employing sticks to probe for ants and termites.

No Plant Part Left Behind

Chimpanzees' diets consist largely of ripe fruit and immature leaves. But they don't tend to pass up stems, seeds, flowers, honey or even bark. Chimpanzees also eat nuts and have been known to use stones to crack them open. The vegetation that chimps consume varies with the seasons.

Odds and Ends

In addition to insects, chimpanzees eat meat and will sometimes hunt animals smaller than themselves, such as colobus monkeys, antelope and wild pigs. They will also consume dead meat, or carrion if available. Soil, believed to provide minerals, is also a component of their nutrition.

Photo Credits

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Author

Since beginning her career as a professional journalist in 2007, Nathalie Alonso has covered a myriad of topics, including arts, culture and travel, for newspapers and magazines in New York City. She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Columbia University and lives in Queens with her two cats.