Bonobo

December 1, 2022

The bonobo is an endangered ape species found deep in the Congo Basin in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are sometimes referred to as the “pygmy chimp,” and they weren’t recognized as separate from the chimpanzee until 1929. They are black with long hair and relatively long legs. Unfortunately, there is limited information about these creatures because they are generally timid, and the political instability in Congo makes it nearly impossible to study any animal in the Basin.

Bonobos are the closest relatives to humans, alongside the common chimpanzee. Bonobos are species of primates that are said to have dispersed from chimpanzees; they have a closer association with human beings than other primates. They actually share over 99% of the same DNA as humans!  Bonobos live in community setups dominated mainly by matriarchy. They do not have permanent monogamous sexual relations, and bonding among females allows them to dominate the males.

Fun Facts:

· The name bonobo is thought to be a spelling error on some shipping crates from Bolobo town in Congo, where the first specimen of Bonobo was reported.

· Bonobos have a lifespan of 40 years in captivity; it is suspected that they live far, much shorter lives in the wild.

· The bonobo is known as the pygmy chimpanzee because it displays slightly smaller features than the standard chimpanzee.

· The variation between the bonobo and ordinary chimpanzee is blamed on the separation of the two species over 860,000 years ago because of the spread of the savanna.

· In the bonobo community, sexual interaction is regarded as a greeting or a way to maintain social bonds, post-conflict, and conflict resolution.

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