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Bonobos – closest relatives to the Human Kind!

By Robin Mackenzie Subscribe to RSS | February 14th 2012 | Views:

Bonobos can be classified as human kind’s closest relatives. We cannot particularly define these species in to one category. Like humans, they have intelligence, get emotional and are sensitive. If they have to be defined in biological terms, they are animals that come closest to the human species. The similarities in behavior between human beings and bonobos are very much similar as they have genetic make-up similarities which go up to 98%. Many of us are of the misconception that gorillas are more related to humans, but the truth is that bonobos and their cousins, the chimpanzees are more related to humans than gorillas. The difference between bonobos and chimpanzees are that the former has more human-like nature and they have more style than the chimpanzees in their ways of living. They have been classified as the great apes along with orangutans, gorillas and chimpanzees. Since these apes and humans have so many similarities, there have been a lot of debates on humans being classified as apes too.

The bonobos are hard to be found the grounds; they are always swinging around the trees like acrobats in a circus. They generally like damp places, where it is easy for them to dig for debris and other tidbits to eat. The bonobos know the forest really well and they have complex routes to move along the forest. As they travel in groups, they coordinate their travel through vocal communication that is understood by only them. They usually live in large groups and break in to groups to search for food in the morning and gathering together in the nights for nesting. When they gather in the evening, they mark the end of the day by they fill the air with squeals that sound like a flock of birds singing. This is much different from the gritty sounds that the chimpanzees give. Their cuisine includes a variety of meals like nuts, sprouts, seeds, fruits and anything edible in trees from the leaves to their barks and roots. They also eat insects, worms, eggs, honey and even soil. They are not as aggressive in hunting as the other apes.

They are one of the most graceful apes and the females are a little smaller than the males. The dominance of males ends there. In this particular race of apes the females are more dominant than the males including the alpha male. When compared to chimpanzees, they have a slimmer upper body with a thin neck; their shoulders are narrow and longer legs. Their prominent features are the black face with pink lips and wide nostrils and long hair on its head. These apes have fascinated the native Africans and there have been a lot of myths and folk tales about these great apes. Many legendry stories tells us that bonobos and humans were brothers and these apes helped humans in finding food in the forest, a story on how a bonobo saved a human life and how they tried to become humans themselves. But, they were discovered by the scientists only around the 1930’s and not alive but through a skull that was placed in a museum.

The sad part is that, the population of these great apes has been deteriorating consistently and they have been enlisted as the endangered species. The population of the bonobos is roughly estimated to range between 29,000 and 50,000 or maybe even less. Many steps have been taken recently to prevent the extinction of these great apes. There have been a lot of awareness programs that I often watch in my ATT Digital TV which has been enlightening and knowledgeable at the same time.

Robin Mackenzie - About Author:
Robin Mackenzie is a freelance writer. She loves to research on animals and spread awareness among people. She gains information from the programs that she watches on her ATT Digital TV, internet and gather information through books.

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