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Little Known Wild Animals: Heard About Bonobos?
With Guest: Frans de Waal, primatologist and author of "Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape."

Original Air Date: 04-10-2009

Listen to the show

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This is a female bonobo. Bonobo's bodies are slim with a small head on a thin neck and narrow shoulders. Their lips are reddish colored in a black face with small ears. They have flatter, more open faces with higher foreheads than chimpanzees. They have long, fine, black hair parted in the middle.


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These are Chimpanzees. Their heads are large with thicker necks and broader shoulders than Bonobos.

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A young Bonobo and it's mother.

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Two Bonobos.

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Face to face sexual intercourse.
(Photo by Frans de Waal)

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Two sisters.
(Photo by Frans de Waal)

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A baby. Bonobos communicate with each other through facial expressions and vocalizations.

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A Bonobo laughing.

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Kanzi, the Bonobo famous for his comprehension of spoken human language.
(Photo by Great Ape Trust)

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Kanzi communicates with Susan Savage-Rumbaugh through use of symbols or lexigrams known as the Yerkish language.
(Photo by Great Ape Trust)

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Nyota, whose name means “star,” offers important insights to researchers investigating the cross-generational effects of language and culture in a second-generation bonobo reared in a bicultural environment.
(Photo by Great Ape Trust)

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The Bonobo Elikya, that lives at the Great Ape Trust.
(Photo by Great Ape Trust)

z82-questdewaal-FransdeWall.jpgDr. Frans B. M. de Waal is a Dutch-born ethologist/biologist known for his work on the social intelligence of primates. His first book, Chimpanzee Politics (1982) compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians. Ever since, de Waal has drawn parallels between primate and human behavior, from peacemaking and morality to culture. His scientific work has been published in hundreds of technical articles in journals such as Science, Nature, Scientific American, and outlets specialized in animal behavior. De Waal is also editor or co-editor on nine scientific volumes. His popular books - translated into fifteen languages - have made him one of the world's most visible primatologists. His latest books are Our Inner Ape (2005, Riverhead) and Primates & Philosophers (2006, Princeton). De Waal is C. H. Candler Professor in the Psychology Department of Emory University and Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Center, in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (US), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. Time selected him in 2007 as one of the Worlds’ 100 Most Influential People today.
Living Links Center
Website

To order Bonobo:
The Forgotten Ape

Additional Resources

Here are a few great websites to find out more about Bonobo's.

Watch a good video of a talk by Susan Savage-Rumbaugh, talking about bonobos.

The Great Ape Trust is where Kanzi, the bonobo that demonstrates comprehension of spoken speech, resides.

http://www.greatapetrust.org/index.php

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