Bonobos are found in a small portion of Africa known as the Congo Basin, which is a forested part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Like common chimpanzees, bonobos feed primarily on fruit and other plant food items, and occasionally supplement this diet with animal meat and insects. As of 2020, bonobos are classified as endangered by the IUCN. The greatest threats to their survival are poaching, human civil warfare, habitat loss and alteration, and disease.
ECOLOGY & HABITAT
Bonobos are highly communicative with each other and use facial expressions, vocalizations, and body postures to express their emotions. Bonobos are less aggressive than common chimpanzees and have different social behaviors. Female bonobos are the highest ranking individuals in their communities, bonobos rarely use lethal aggression when defending their home ranges, and group hunting is rarely observed. Some researchers believe that bonobos have the ability to express empathy. Bonobos in captivity have been able to learn and use a basic form of sign language. There is only about a 1.2% difference in DNA between humans and bonobos.
LOCOMOTION & BODY SIZE
Bonobos can climb trees and also knuckle-walk when they are traveling on the ground. When they are carrying food items, they often walk bipedally with a bent-hip, bent-knee gait. Adult bonobos are generally about 4 ft tall, with adult males weighing between 75 to 130 pounds (34 to 60 kg) and adult females weighing about 66 pounds (30 kg).
Bonobos can sometimes live to be over 50 years old when in captivity, but in the wild, their maximum lifespan is usually 30 to 40 years old.