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Uploaded on Dec 4, 2007
Bonobo male - This male bonobo shows the display behavior sometimes used by bonobos and chimps.
This is not a random shaking. He is shown very carefully selecting the material used to make an impressive display. He selects dead, hollow stems. When he shakes these dead weeds, they make a certain sound. The weeds also are of a particular size. His shaking itself draws attention. In addition, he further draws attention with his charging behavior. This makes children watching nervous.
The bonobo is the peaceful ape. The species has a matriarchal structure. This can be seen in the way the male treats the young. In spite of his display, he allows the young bonobo to play near him.
The Bonobo, also called the Pygmy or Gracile Chimpanzee (Pan paniscus) belongs to the species (with the common chimpanzee) that is most closely related to humans. Its DNA is 98% identical to that of humans and some researchers think they should be classified with the human species, i.e., Homo paniscus. Bonobos have relatively long legs, a matriarchal cultural, and are generally considered frugivorous. They often walk upright and have a human-like appearance. Frans de Waal, one of the leading primate researchers, has stated that the bonobo is capable of empathy, kindness, altruism, and compassion. E. Savage-Rumbaugh and Roger Lewin have extensively studied the ability of the bonobo to learn language. Kanzi has learned over 3000 spoken English words and around 400 lexigrams. He can understand simple grammatical sentences and possibly invent new vocal sounds. The bonobo is also an accomplished tool user.
Many consider the bonobo to be the most closely related of all animals to people. The bonobo has been presented as a stand-in for what human ancestors of only a few million years looked like. With its pink lips, expressive face, high forehead, long, and neatly-parted, head hair, this animal looks very human. Its human appearance is even more accented by its highly individual facial features and its ability to walk upright with its back straight like a person and unlike the bent over posture of other apes. It is considered the most intelligent of all animals by many researchers. Individuals have been taught a vocabulary of as many as 400 words and are able to type using a special keyboard of geometric symbols. Bonobos can understand and respond to such complex commands as ones to take a bottle out of a refrigerator, open it, and put it on a table. Bonobo DNA is around 99-98 percent identical to our own.