The bonobo is a species of monkey is only found in the forests south of the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Compared to chimpanzees, they are usually a bit smaller and leaner, and oftentimes colored darker. They also tend to be more peaceful and are lead by females. They maintain relationships and also settle conflicts through sex. However, bonobos are not completely docile; if two bonobo groups come together, they may engage in serious fighting. Wild bonobos can only be found in forests south of the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sometimes known as the pygmy chimpanzee, bonobos weren't recognized as a separate species until 1929. As the last great ape to be scientifically described, much remains unknown about the bonobo - including the extent of its geographic range. Efforts to survey the species over the past two decades have been hampered by the remote nature of its habitat, the patchiness of their distribution, and years of civil unrest within the DRC.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Although they are known as the "dwarf chimpanzee", regular bonobos are actually similar in size to normal chimpanzees.
- Sexual behavior is predominant in bonobo life. They engage in intercourse to form bonds, neutralize tense situations, express excitement, greet one another, encourage sharing and compassion, and of course, to reproduce.
- Bonobos were originally called "pygmy chimpanzees" as scientists initially believed them to be a subspecies of chimpanzees. However, closer inspection revealed that they were in fact their own unique species.
- The IUCN has classified the bonobo as endangered.