I've been a loyal reader of Bonobo Handshake, Vanessa Wood's spectacular blog on her Bonobo research in Africa. Bonobo's are apes similar to Chimpanzee's in DNA but very different in behavior. Bonobos and Chimps were separated approximately 2 million years ago and have taken slightly different evolutionary paths. Bonobos, Chimps and Humans share a common ancestor and they are both the closest living relatives to Humans.
What makes Bonobos different from Chimps is that they are way less violent (they do not kill each other), they use sex as a form of communication, conflict resolution and for just plain old fun. They live in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and sadly there are only approximately 5000 of them left. Local Congolese hunt them for meat largely because of hunger. Due to war and chaos in the region there has been no local effort to protect the Bonobos. Protecting the Bonobos requires local support because of the Malaria infested areas of the remote jungle that they live in.
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