Chimpanzees communicate in many ways, most notably through sounds and calls. They also communicate with each other through touch, facial expressions and body language.


They communicate much like humans do—by kissing, embracing, patting on the back, touching hands, tickling and more. Like other great apes, they groom each other to improve relations in the community and to calm nervous or tense individuals.

Chimpanzees also express themselves in “displays” to intimidate others or to show dominance. In these “displays” their hair stands on end so they look bigger. They also scream, stamp their feet, and go on a tear, dragging branches or hurling rocks.

Displays from the Jane Goodall Institute on Vimeo.

Chimp Calls

Dr. Jane Goodall’s long-term study of chimpanzee behavior at Gombe National Park helped scientists understand more about the diversity and meaning of chimpanzee calls. There are two types of chimpanzee calls:

Intraparty Calls – These calls take place between chimpanzees that are in the same group.

Distance Calls – These calls are made between groups that are separated, sometimes by a great distance.




One of the chimpanzee calls is the “pant-hoot.” Each individual chimpanzee has his or her own distinct pant-hoot. This helps other chimpanzees tell who is making the call even if they can’t see who is calling.

Jane Goodall's Chimp Greeting from the Jane Goodall Institute on Vimeo.

Dr. Goodall often begins her lectures with a pant-hoot. Watch this video to listen to her say “hello.”




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