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smaller of two species of chimpanzeechimpanzee,
an ape, genus Pan, of the equatorial forests of central and W Africa. Smaller populations are also found in the savannas of the same regions. The common chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, lives N of the Congo River.
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, genus Pan. Whereas the common chimpanzee, P. troglodytes, lives in forests across most of equatorial Africa, the bonobo, P. paniscus (sometimes called the pygmy chimpanzee), is found only in the Congo (Kinshasa) S of the Congo River. The bonobo has a more slender body build than the common chimpanzee, but there is considerable overlap in overall size (head-and-body length and weight) among individuals of the two species.

Bonobos share many behavioral traits with common chimpanzees; e.g., they tend to associate in groups, are day-active, build sleeping nests in trees, and eat mostly fruit and other vegetable matter. Their groups are usually larger than those of common chimpanzees, however, and often the females are closely bonded and tend to dominate males. Moreover, both males and females appear to use sexual contact as a means of communication and a way to ease tensions that might otherwise erupt into conflict, though there is evidence to suggest this is much more common in captive, rather than wild, bonobos. Bonobos are generally less violent than common chimpanzees, and there are fewer conflicts between neighboring bonobo communities. Both bonobos and common chimpanzees have been able to learn the meanings of many human words (although they cannot vocalize them), and they can be trained to communicate with humans by using sign language or symbol boards.

The bonobo is listed as an endangered species. The few thousand that remain in the wild are hunted by humans, and their habitat is being fragmented by encroaching human settlement, agriculture, and logging operations. Bonobos are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Primates, family Hominidae.


See study by F. de Waal (1997).

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Bonobo and Friend in Concert A BONOBO nicknamed Bobo plays the oboe virtuoso to a LOBO, fellow hobo, while the Lobo in a solo with a mojo magic elbow plays a slow bow to Bonobo.
De Waal, a primatologist and professor of primate behavior in the Emory University psychology department, has been writing on chimpanzee and bonobo societies since the 1970s, when he took up a long-term research project at the Arnhem Zoo in his native country, the Netherlands.
Even more notable, he said, is that bonobo brains carry a thick connection between the amygdala, a deep-seated emotional center that can spark aggression, and a higher brain region, the ventral anterior cingulate cortex, which helps control impulses.
It's a shame that the bonobos are lost in the shuffle of the intense, heavily peopled plot.
So as I said earlier, we do have the bonobo, we do have the chimp within us, but it's worth noting that nobody suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from helping a stranger.
The bonobo is one of the only two extant species of the chimpanzee genus, the other being the larger and more widespread common chimpanzee.
How many times do our closest genetic relatives, the peace-loving primates known as bonobos, have sex for every pregnancy?
In November, conservation groups and the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) established a new reserve to protect the bonobo, a great ape found only in the DRC's vast tropical forests.
But the animal world offers an even more fascinating example: the bonobo. Along with chimpanzees, bonobos are humans' closest animal relatives, sharing more than 98 percent of our DNA- Yet they couldn't be more different from the warlike chimps.
The work of University of Oregon anthropologist Frances White will be featured in a documentary on bonobo apes to be shown Tuesday evening on the Public Broadcasting System science program "NOVA."
Four studies combine primatology and functional linguistics to analyze linguistic exchanges between captive apes and their human captors, drawing heavily on the work of Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and the bonobo Kanzi.