What Chimpanzees Eat

Chimp eating fruit.jpgChimpanzees are omnivorous (they eat both plants and meat) just like human beings. They are very diverse in their diet and they eat a very wide variety of things. Their diet includes things such as insects, blossoms, bark, fruit, tree seeds, leaves, meat and a wide variety of nuts.

However, chimpanzees rarely eat meat. Meat makes up about 1% of their total diet. On the other hand, fruits make up the highest percentage of their diet which is about 60%.

Getting Food

Chimpanzees mainly forage for food in the forest. They also use tools to obtain their food or even scare away intruders.


Chimpanzees typically eat the fruits that are available in their habitat. Additionally, they eat both unripe and ripe fruits. They spend most of their time foraging for fruits since that is what makes up the largest part of their entire diet.

Roughage and Fiber

When fruits become scarce, chimpanzees start looking for tree seeds, bark, and flowers to complement their diet. However, these come second to fruits which they really enjoy. Chimpanzees can eat over 80 plant species in the wild. Moreover, wild chimpanzees can also eat leaves, buds, and blossoms.


Chimpanzees can also supplement their diet with a variety of insects found in their wild habitat. Insects make up about 4% of their diet while in the wild. They mainly pick the insects off each other or other things such as trees. These insects include termites, ants, and more.

Termites are a very important part of their diet because they are the most nutritious. They mainly use straws to suck termites out of the mounds. They also use bamboo rods to scoop the termites out and eat them.


Meat is considered “gourmet” food among chimpanzees. Therefore they rarely eat meat and when they do, they eat almost everything including the brain. Moreover, they only eat the meat that they have hunted. They mainly eat small animals in the wild, especially young monkeys.

Chimpanzees also drink water. However, they show a lot of intelligence in this because they mainly use chewed-up leaves to sop up water. The chewed up leaves act as a sponge.