Skip to main content

Bonobo

Pan paniscus
Human readers, meet one of your closest biological relatives-- the Bonobo! Bonobos and Chimpanzees share more than 98% of their DNA with humans. In fact-- we are so closely related to them that there are some who argue that Bonobos and Chimpanzees should belong to the Homo genus, rather than Pan.

Bonobos are smaller than Chimpanzees, but otherwise look very similar. They are even sometimes referred to as Pygmy Chimpanzees, and weren't considered separate species until 1929. Physically, Bonobos are lean and have dark black hair. Males are larger than the females-- sometimes weighing twice as much!

The wild range of the Bonobo is quite small-- they live only in the Democratic Republic of Congo which is one of the reasons why they are so Endangered. Not only is their range small, but they live in an area of civil unrest, where government protections for the species are nearly impossible to uphold, and where there are few regulations concerning habitat protection. The wild population has been on the decline for decades, and it will have difficulty rebounding because of the long reproductive cycle of the Primate. Unlike many mammals that reproduce yearly, a female Bonobo will produce offspring only once every 4-5 years.

Bonobo social groups are actually led by the females, and mother-child bonds are very important to the group. In fact, they are the only primate groups to be female-led. A male's standing is influenced by who his mother is. These communities can number over 100 members, but they tend to break up into smaller sections while foraging. Bonobos primarily eat fruit, but they will also consume leaves, insects, and small vertebrates. They have been known to eat other, smaller Primates as well.

IUCN Status : Endangered
Location : Africa
Size : Length up to 3ft (.9m), Weight up to 130lbs (65kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Primates
Family : Hominidae -- Genus : Pan -- Species : P. paniscus
Image : USAID, Pierre Fidenci

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a

10 Years?!

My goodness! It's been 6 years since I went on hiatus, and now more than 10 years since AaD was born, and what a world we've moved in to! Animal a Day is coming back- but in the meantime, check us out on Facebook, for your daily dose of #BIRDNEWS

Four!

For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!