Bonobos are a species of nonhuman primates commonly referred to as pygmy chimpanzees and taxonomically classified as Pan paniscus


Bonobos are a species of nonhuman primates commonly referred to as pygmy chimpanzees and taxonomically classified as Pan paniscus. The animal occupies a rather small geographic range. Bonobos can only found in only found in the Congo Basin, the second largest rainforest on earth located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The animal is most closely related to other chimpanzee species` and humans. It is thought that the last common ancestors of humans, and bonobos split about four million years ago and bonobos split from chimpanzees around one million years ago Prüfer, K, et al, (2012). Bonobos ties with other types of chimpanzees for being the closest living relative to humans. The bonobo shares about 97% of the same DNA that makes up humans, Fischer A, et al, (2011). A trait that both Bonobos and humans share is small canine teeth. In chimpanzees the dominant alpha males would fight to the death in order to reproduce with females, in turn, the chimpanzees evolved to grow large intimidating canine teeth. Bonobos and humans however are not aggressive by nature and have omnivore diets. This trait is homologous because the trait is shared by multiple different species that share a common ancestor. Although it unknown exactly how long ago the trait developed I believe it evolved due to the natural selection of primates with teeth best fit to feed on smaller, easier to chew foods such as seeds and smaller fruits. In my opinion it makes the most sense that the primates evolving diets also needed teeth best equip to chew and breakdown the new food.

Bonobos are one of the most unique primates when it comes to reproductive behaviors.
A behavior that separates Bonobos from other primates is they use sex in order to avoid conflict.
Bonobos often trade food for sex and in aggressive situations unrelated to food Bonobos have shown to switch to sexual activity in order to divert from the tense situation at hand regardless of sex. In their close relative the chimpanzee the two animals would likely fight to the death for food and fertile females. Also, Due to their long fertile periods female Bonobos assume the alpha role over male Bonobos. They protect the males and provide them with food and other mates. This behavioral trait is also displayed in elephants.he largest and oldest female elephant leads the herd and is the dominant among other elephants, McComb K, et al,(2001).Although there is no proven answer, I believe females lead because they are the sex in the species whom are born with personalities inclined to be alpha and dominant. There is set answer on when Bonobos turned into a matriarchy but it definitely isn’t due to their size because males are typically 10-20 pounds heavier than their female counterparts, Angier (2016). This simple psychological fact about bonobos leads me to believe females inherit dominance traits instead of the males who typically is the alpha in nature. To conclude, Bonobos are an incredibly interesting species mainly studied because of their ancestral relationship with humans and uncommon behaviors that make them unique.

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