Pan_troglodytes AnAge entry for Pan troglodytes

Classification (HAGRID: 02791)

Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
        Class: Mammalia (Taxon entry)
            Order: Primates (Taxon entry)
                Family: Hominidae
                    Genus: Pan
Pan troglodytes
Common name

Lifespan, ageing, and relevant traits

8 years
Maximum longevity
68 years (captivity)
ref. 1324
Sample size
Data quality

Physiological observations indicate that chimpanzees develop age-related changes typical of humans at considerably earlier ages, and geriatric chimpanzees were originally defined as animals with 34 years of age and older [0590]. Even in captivity, young adult chimpanzees have considerably higher mortality rates than humans [0008]. Therefore, while it is not known whether the pace of ageing is different between chimpanzees and humans, the onset of ageing appears to occur at earlier ages in chimpanzees. The MRTD and IMR were estimated based on mortality rates obtained from field sites [0834]. The difference in longevity does not appear to be related to telomere shortening. Telomere attrition rates are similar between the two species and telomeres are twice as long in chimpanzees than in humans [1172]. Additionally, unlike humans, chimpanzees exhibit few age-related changes in total brain and grey matter volume, cortical thickness, and mean depth and folding of major cortical sulci [1173]. Aged animals have been found to manifest two of the main histological markers for Alzheimer's Disease in humans, Abeta plaques and NFT [1319]. Unlike humans, microglia activation was not found to be associated with tau lesions [1320], and other patterns also seem to suggest a difference in the inflammatory process between humans and chimpanzees in response to Alzheimer's disease [1323]. Furthermore, female chimpanzees have been shown to experience an age-related decline in their cognitive flexibility [1321].

Determining the maximum longevity of chimpanzees is problematic due to the many anecdotal reports. "Cheeta", a male chimpanzee who participated in some Tarzan movies, has been reported to still be alive [0505], and having died at 80 years of age [0853]; these claims have not been verified and may well be exaggerated. One wild-born female called "Little Mama" was estimated to be over 70 years of age at Lion Country Safari in Florida [0842]. Another specimen, called "Gregoire", reportedly died at the age of 66 in Congo after living most of his life in Brazzaville Zoo. In spite of these claims, chimpanzees in captivity have not been confirmed to live for more than 60 years [0671]. The previously established maximum longevity of chimpanzees belonged to a female called "Gamma" that was 59.4 years old when she died in 1992 at Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Atlanta [0574]. However, recently a male, "Jhonny", died in 2019 at the Kobe Oji Zoo in Japan, estimated to be 68 years old [1324]. Similarly, the maximum longevity in the wild belongs to one 55 year-old female, though there are unverified reports suggesting a longer lifespan [0008].

There is considerable controversy regarding whether chimpanzees reach menopause [0976]. A 56 year-old female has been reported to give birth at Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, Kansas [0854]. Menopause coincides with the end of lifespan in many nonhuman primates. Changes in the reproductive tracts of aged chimpanzees mimic changes described in the reproductive tracts of aged humans, apart from malignant changes in the mammary gland and prostate gland [1233].

Long-lived captive males have been shown to be associates with personality traits like low aggression, cooperation and protectiveness [1322].

Chimpanzees have been shown to suffer from a decline in their stress response system with age, in a similar way to humans [1325].

Life history traits (averages)

Female sexual maturity
3,376 days
Male sexual maturity
2,920 days
229 days
1,111 days
Litter size
1 (viviparous)
Litters per year
Inter-litter interval
840 days
Weight at birth
1,821 g
Weight at weaning
8,500 g
Adult weight
44,984 g
Postnatal growth rate
0.0007 days-1 (from Gompertz function)
Maximum longevity residual


Typical body temperature
309ºK or 35.7ºC or 96.3ºF
Basal metabolic rate
Not yet available


External Resources

Integrated Taxonomic Information System
ITIS 573082
Animal Diversity Web
ADW account (if available)
Encyclopaedia of Life
Search EOL
NCBI Taxonomy
Taxonomy ID 9598
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Ageing Literature
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Google Image search
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