Chimp & See Talk

identifying gender

  • Novawatch by Novawatch

    Are there some distinguishing traits we can look for to help identify the gender of the chimp, especially since we aren't always able to see most of their body. I am marking unidentifiable more than I think I should.


  • MimiA by MimiA scientist, moderator

    Hi @Novawatch - It is probably really hard to tell in most cases, so do not worry about it, just do your best.

    Usually if an individual is carrying an infant, that means it is a female, if "she" seems slenderish this is probably a safe bet that it is a female (adoption by males has been documented though but it is rare). Females will also have a pink sexual swelling on their backsides, but this expands and contracts with estrous so sometimes it is very obvious and sometimes not obvious at all.

    males tend to be big and robust, this is something you mainly get a feeling for after watching quite a few videos. If you get to see their rear you can usually see testicles.

    infants and juveniles are mostly impossible to sex, your only hope is getting a shot from the rear and hoping to see a pink sexual swelling or testicles in the juveniles.


  • lauraklynn by lauraklynn moderator

    There are differences in the "rear ends" of juvenile males and females:

    Left is a 3 year old male and right is a 4 year old female. You don't encounter a lot of videos on this site with enough detail to tell the difference definitively, but sometimes you can.

    The embedded image doesn't always want to display. If you're having trouble seeing it, you should be able to click through to view it here.


  • lilapot by lilapot

    What exactly is a testicle.


  • yshish by yshish moderator in response to lilapot's comment.

    Click here: 😉