The bonobo, the monkey with unbridled sexuality


The bonobo is the most close of the man of which he shares more than 99% of the heritage genetic. The primate is especially famous for its all-out matings which aim to unite the group by defusing conflicts. Close up on an animal making love, not the war.

Presentation of the bonobo

The bonobo (Pan paniscus) belongs to the order of primates and to the family of hominids. With the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), it is one of the two species in the genus of chimpanzees. Devoid of a tail, the bonobo has a slender body, long and powerful arms, a reduced neck and large round ears. His face dish displays two eyes surmounted by a bulge, recessed nostrils and prominent pink lips. His dark side is glabrous as well as the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. His coat black has clear highlights.

The monkey closest to man

Possessing 99.4% of Genoa similar, the bonobo is the monkey whose DNA most closely resembles theman. Among its common points, the primate shows a strong predisposition to gait biped (more than any other great ape). Its behavior is sometimes confusing: thus, specimens have been observed in the process of wash their food before consuming it. On the other hand, these animals make love face to face andkiss sometimes using their language like a human being.

The very skilled members of the bonobo

The bonobo is distinguished from the chimpanzee by having longer hind legs and thinner muscular arms. Its four limbs each endow an inch opposable with four fingers making it easier for him to handle objects, even small ones. In addition to bipedalism, the bonobo’s mode of locomotion includes quadrupedal walking and the passage from one branch to another (brachiation). The size of the monkey ranges from 70cm to 1m and its weight is between 25 and 40 kg for females and between 35 and 60 kg for males.

The bonobo, endemic species of Congo

The bonobo is an endemic species of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Monkeys colonize the forest tropical humid and dense located between the Congo river in the north and the Kasai and Sankuru rivers in the south. The animal frequents the meadows marshy growing on a thin layer of peat. The animal finds in this region the semi-leafed trees lapsed producing the fleshy fruits he loves. To promote the preservation of this species threatened, several Congolese parks are home to bonobos: the Salonga National Park, the Sankuru Nature Reserve or the sanctuary scored by Lola Ya Bonobo.

The matriarchal society of the bonobo

The bonobo is a primate gregarious living in a group of a few dozen individuals in which the females play a leading role by taking the decisions relating to the community. Of a calm and peaceful nature, the monkey establishes a social structure of the matriarchal type where solidarity. Females go in search of a new clan when they reach childbearing age while males spend their lives in the tribe where they are. born. Males establish a hierarchy between them, placed under the leadership of a dominant individual who assures his authority through postures ofintimidation sufficiently dissuasive to prevent conflicts.

Sex, an instrument of cohesion

Faced with the rare tensions that may arise, bonobos deploy two effective techniques: the sex and thedelousing. These two methods play an essential role in maintaining the cohesion social. Mating without reproductive finality is an outlet for monkeys to strengthen ties and communicate. Lasting an average of fourteen seconds, intercourse begins on average once every 90 minutes. Essential instrument of regulation of everyday life, sexuality fits very naturally into bonobo society and serves various interests: appeasement, sign of affection and pleasure.

Bonobo, a gourmet of fruit

Frugivorous, the bonobo feeds on fruits (nearly 60% of its diet), herbs, leaves, stems, bark, seeds, flowers and mushrooms. The animal does not disdain a few dishes meat such as ants, termites, insect larvae, earthworms, eggs, fish, small mammals squirrel type. Unlike chimpanzees, bonobos do not actively hunt their prey, but rather consume it. opportunistic.

The slow growth of the bonobo

Sexually mature between 13 and 15 years old, the female gives birth to a young unique every four to five years. At the end of 220 to 230 days of gestation, a small weighing between 1.3 to 1.6 kg, is born. If the males intervene little in the education (only the females take care of the newborns), they play an important role in the protection of the clan. After weaning, which lasts about five years, the young male will remain with his mother and the original group all his life, while the female will seek a new family at the puberty.

Threats to the bonobo

The main ones predators of the bonobo are man, leopard and python. Young primates are sometimes the prey of certain raptors and snakes. The bonobo population is currently estimated to number only 10,000 to 20,000 individuals in the wild. The strong decrease of its workforce results from diseases but above all from causes resulting from human activity such as deforestation and poaching. Although the species is protected, its flesh is eaten and the young are captured to serve as animals of company. In freedom, the bonobo can live up to 40 years and 60 years in captivity. Conservation status International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): In danger.