Special Sub-Topic: The Bonobo
|The bonobo is one of the last large mammals to be discovered by scientists.|
true. The distinction between chimpanzees and bonobos was first made in 1929. The bonobo was classed as an entirely new species - Pan paniscus (versus "Pan troglodytes" for the chimpanzee).
The bonobo's genus name comes from the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks, woods, and shepherds, and had the legs, ears, beard, and horns of a goat but the torso of a man. "Troglodytes" means cave dweller.
|The bonobo is also (erroneously) known as:|
Bonobo chimpanzee or pygmy chimpanzee. There are scientists that object to "pygmy chimpanzee" as incorrect since the bonobo and the chimpanzee are more or less the same size. And there are those that insist that the name "bonobo" is meaningless and probably came from a misspelling of "Bolobo", a town in Zaire, on a delivery crate.
|The first serious comparison of bonobos and chimpanzees was undertaken where and when?|
Munich, 1930s. The study was done in the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich. Unfortunately, the three Bonobos used in the study all died of heart failure, terrified by the bombardment of Munich during the war. The study, published after the war by Eduard Tratz and Heinz Heck, was the first to define the contrasting behavior of bonobos and chimpanzees - some examples:
Bonobos are sensitive, nervous, and lively; chimpanzees are coarse and hot-tempered.
The chimpanzee often raises his hair (hair standing on end); bonobos rarely exhibit this behavior.
Physical violence is common in chimpanzee society; it almost never occurs in bonobo society.
Chimpanzees will try to pull an attacker close so that he can be bitten whereas Bonobos defend themselves by kicking with their feet.
The Bonobo vocalizations contain a and e vowels, the chimpanzee uses more o and u vowels.
Bonobos "talk" more than chimpanzees.
Bonobos stretch out their arms and shake their hands when calling; chimpanzees do not.
Chimpanzees copulate in the "dog" position; Bonobos copulate in the "missionary" position.
|Which of the following is the most rapid way to distinguish a Bonobo from a chimpanzee?|
By their voice. Bonobo voices are higher-pitched than chimpanzee voices. The difference in pitch between the two voices is comparable to the difference between the voice of a small child and the voice of a grown man. Heck (director of the Hellabrun Zoo) was convinced they had sent him the wrong animals when he heard bonobo calls coming from a covered crate.
|What is the main difference between the bonobo species and the chimpanzee species?|
Their body proportions. The chimpanzee has broad, powerful shoulders, a rather thick neck, and a proportionally large head. Bonobos have narrow shoulders, a long neck, and proportionally long legs. In addition, when walking upright, the Bonobo's posture bears a closer resemblance to human upright posture than does the chimpanzee's.
|The bonobo's natural habitat in central Africa is restricted to an area south of the Zaire river.|
true. Thanks to their remote natural habitat, bonobos have suffered a little less than other apes from human encroachment. But still their numbers are declining. The isolated habitat and the bonobos's shyness have also made it difficult to study bonobos in the wild.
|Bonobos are as geneticallyat least as close to humans as chimpanzees are.|
true. We share with these apes 98% of our genetic material.
|Carl Linnaeus imposed the taxonomic division between humans and apes. Why did he regret it later in his life?|
Because the distinction is artificial.. The taxonomic division between humans and apes is now regarded as completely artificial - as far as family resemblance goes, either we are one of them or they are one of us.
|The bonobo's natural habitat is:|
Rain forest. It is the swampy rain forest covering the basin of the Zaire river.
|Bonobos cannot swim.|
true. That's why if you see an ape enclosure at the zoo with a moat around it, the moat will most likely be dry.
|Bonobos in captivity spend so much time grooming each other that some of them are afflicted with temporary baldness.|
true. Bonobos are very social apes so the lack of an adequate number of animals in a group may create this problem. There are only about 100 captive Bonobos in the world, while for chimpanzees there are thousands in captivity. By the way, bonobos have more hair than chimpanzees. And they all have the same hairdo - silky black hair parted down the middle.
|Unlike chimpanzees, bonobos use few or no tools.|
true. Bonobos in captivity have been seen (and sometimes encouraged) to use tools. Observers of bonobos in the wild have not seen any tool use and this is thought to be due to the availability of food which does not require tools to be gathered.
|A chimpanzee male's typical display involves violently displacing and/or throwing objects, raised hair and loud vocalizations. A bonobo male's typical display is:|
Grabbing a branch and dragging it behind him while running a short distance.. Rather tame compared to the chimpanzee. Also, during a rare confrontation, bonobos do not enlist other members of the group in the fight (a typical chimpanzee behavior).
|What is the unofficial slogan of the bonobo?|
Make love not war.. Instead of using agression to resolve social conflicts and to ease tension, Bonobos use sexual contact. All combinations are practiced by the bonobo: male-male, male-female, female-female, male-juvenile, female-juvenile, etc. The frequency of sexual contact is also higher than among most other primates. Bonobos have in common with humans the trait of non-procreative recreational sex.
|What is the name of the most famous contemporary Bonobo? He's the one who learned to communicate by using the Yerkish language (lexigrams).|
Kanzi. Featured in numerous articles and television documentaries, Kanzi is also the subject of a book by researcher Sue Savage-Rumbaugh. He also developed an extensive understanding of spoken English. The other names are those of bonobos and chimpanzees used in ape language and behavior research.
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