Reflection b2 – The Smart and Swinging Bonobos


New info:

What are bonobos?

  • Great apes
  • Endangered
  • One of the closest relatives to humans together with the chimpanzee
  • They closely resemble us—bipedal and have body proportions closer to ours than chimpanzees

Their behavior

  • Generally regarded as peaceful, although they do have violent territorial disputes
  • Gregarious with social hierarchy within their troop
  • Females have some authority in the troop, a first compared to other apes
  • Exhibit emotions such as jealousy
  • Close bonds between mothers and sons
  • Males are attentive and affectionate to infants
  • Highly intelligent and can communicate with humans using a huge variety of symbols and vocabulary

Threats to bonobos

  • Their habitat has been overrun by soldiers due to civil wars in the region
  • They have been slaughtered for food
  • The surging human population has encroached onto their habitat, reducing habitat size

What’s Interesting:

  •  Bonobos settle disputes by mating.
  • Their intelligence is far superior than I thought. There was an experiment where 8 bonobos were moved into an 18-room house, where they could operate doors, press symbols to get snacks from a vending machine and watch movies by pressing buttons on a computer screen. It was as though they were living like humans.

My Opinion:

What if humans did not evolve from chimps and bonobos, or remained as hunter-gatherers?



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