DR Congo Travel News

Prehistoric People Looked Like Bonobo Apes

Prehistoric People Looked Like Bonobo Apes

Bonobo apes are the closest species next to man. We’ve known this for a while after a series of careful DNA analysis, as well as observing the many similarities that both species have shared.

But are we really related to each other, and that the human species separated from chimps after millions of years of evolution?

It’s still a much-heated debate, and even the thought that our own species have come from the chimps will take years, probably not in this lifetime, to be affirmed or negated.

But let’s keep our cool, let the experts handle the situation, and allow me to take you to the wonderful and amazing world of bonobos.

Bonobos are pure jungle dwellers, found in the heart of Congo in Central Africa. Due to its distinct physical and social attributes, many people (both local and foreign) have developed curiosity and have always wanted to see them in real flesh.

Spotting a Bonobo

Bonobos have special body features unique to its species. Here’s a quick look how bonobos and chimpanzees differ from each other.

  • Size – Both bonobos and chimps are about of the same size, but bonobos have narrow or slender body type with small ears and head.


  • Food – Bonobos like to devour plants, small fish, fruits, insects and worm, while chimps eat plants or veggies and sometimes eat other monkeys or mammals.


  • Location – The population of bonobos is scarce and located only in Congo, Africa (formerly Zaire), while the “common” chimps are spread across the great lands of Africa, particularly in the western and central regions.


  • Social Interaction – Chimps can become aggressive creatures, willing to kill other monkeys to protect their territories. Bonobo, on the other hand, are peace-loving mammals that look for ways to boil down any tension through sexual behaviors rather than hostility. Also, they don’t establish territories like the other chimps.


  • Appearance – You can easily distinguish a bonobo because of its ability to walk in an upright position, much like what we humans do. Both bonobo and the common chimp have white rump patch, which stains as the chimp aged, while that of bonobo will stay for life.


Food Choices

In the eyes of bonobos, the whole forest is like an endless buffet. They eat a whole variety of fruits and plant materials. And, if given a chance, they even catch small shrimps using their bare hands!

Climbing and clinging to trees is not a problem for these nimble climbers. They can jump from one tasty fruit to another pretty quickly, and often share their harvest with the others.

They also use tools and techniques to gather food such as using grass stems to harvest the termites inside their holes, use sticks to fetch the honey, use rocks to crush nuts, etc.

Earthworms are a particular favorite, and they spend considerable time looking for them under rocks and rotten logs.Bonobos are such an interesting creature, and I invite you to come to Africa and see them personally.


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