Wednesday, April 12, 2017

By J.E. Rogers

For many animals, surviving in the wild is dangerous business. The manner in which each species has evolved to survive makes for some fascinating reading. Some even kill their own young and each other to ensure the survival of their genetic material. Most have developed extraordinary techniques and weapons, such as, camouflage, claws and sharp canines, just to mention a few. How many animals can you name that are peacekeepers, especially among their own kind?

This week, we’ll explore a peacekeeper.

Meet the Bonobo.  (Pan paniscus)

Photo credit: World Wildlife Organization

Bonobos look like chimpanzees, and like the chimpanzees, they share 98.7% DNA with humans. However, they are a bit leaner, darker and their faces are also a bit darker than chimpanzees. Whereas a chimpanzee society is patriarchal, the Bonobo society is matriarchal. Chimpanzees have been known to fight and even kill other chimpanzees, but Bonobos are peaceful. It is a rare occasion when two groups of Bonobos meet and come to blows. 

The Bonobo has a darker coloring than the chimpanzee
Photo credit: © Cyril Ruoso / Biosphoto via

Bonobos live in large groups of up to 150 individuals. Wild groups of Bonobos can only be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa. 

Their diet consists of mostly fruits, and other plant products, such as flowers, bark stems, roots, and mushrooms. They have been known to eat small mammals, but they do not hunt mammalian prey. Instead, they will eat them if the opportunity arises. Interestingly, Bonobos have been known to wash their food before they eat it.

Bonobos are considered endangered by the IUCN*.

The Bonobo was the last great ape to be discovered. The fact that this primate uses sex to communicate, create bonds, and diffuse potentially contentious behavior, sets them apart from all of the other ape species.

The following excellent and informative video shows how generous and intelligent the Bonobo is. It also discusses the problem of population decline, which is basically due to human intrusion. I hope you take a few minutes to watch it.

*IUCN = International Union for Conservation of Nature.

If you’d like to learn more about the Bonobo, visit the following sites:


Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza, The Gift of Sunderland and
One Hot Mess, A Child’s Environmental Fable
Where Endangered Animal Heroes Roam the Pages!

To learn more about me, visit my ‘author page’ on Amazon:

Kohana, A Native American Creation Myth
To learn more visit:

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