Bonobo Research Paper

1305 WordsOct 6, 20126 Pages
Anthropology-101 BONOBOS Species Origination and Geographical Distribution -The bonobo is the most recently discovered great ape in modern times. It was revealed in 1929 by German anatomist Ernest Schwarz that a skull once thought belonging to a juvenile chimpanzee was in fact a new subspecies of chimpanzee known now as the Pan paniscus, or bonobo. (Waal 6) During the Pleistocene epoch approximately 1.5 million years ago, the Congo River was formed in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (San Diego Zoo 2) The river geographically segregated groups and individual chimpanzees south of the river resulting in these chimps being reproductively isolated. Allopatric speciation took place as a response to new…show more content…
Bonobo’s are classified within the Genus Pan, Species paniscus. Pan paniscus is commonly referred to as the pygmy/lesser/dwarf chimpanzee, and gracile ape. The name bonobo is said to be meaningless, taken from a misspelling on a shipping crate headed to the town of Bolobo in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Primate Info Net) On an interesting note, some taxonomists suggest putting both chimpanzees and bonobo’s in the same Genus as humans, Homo, due to genetic similarities in the species because both are humans closest genetic relatives. (San Diego Zoo 2) (Wildman Et. Al. 2003) Physical Characteristics -Bonobo’s display a varied degree of sexual dimorphism, which is a characteristic specific to either male or female sex. When comparing the two sexes, males are more muscular and hold an average weight of 95 pounds compared to an average of 82 pounds and a slighter built female, a 15 percent weight difference between them. Sexual dimorphism is also apparent in that males possess a unique dental trait, long canines, a feature that females lack. Both sexes are similar in that neither has a height advantage, averaging 2.3 to 3 feet in height. (Waal 24) Bonobo’s possess long, fine black hair covering most of the body and black colored hands and feet. Their black faces feature wide, thick walled nostrils and long black facial hair that often covers their small ears. Their head hair
Open Document