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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bonobo violence

I got this question from Karenhappywoman, and its a very good one:

Hi, What a beautiful blog! I hope you don't mind me having a little question regarding bonobo's. In your blog as well as in many commentaries about bonobos we see that they are very peaceful and friendly beings. My husband told me that he read an article in which researchers said they have found that many bonobos have missing fingers that were bitten of by other bonobos during fights. Have you noticed any of this and could this mean that not all of their conflicts are resolved by having sex? Thank you very much in advance!

There is violence in bonobo society. A few years ago, five females ganged up on a male called Tatanga and beat the crap out of him, almost ripping his testicles off. the difference between bonobos and chimps is that this violence in chimps is a lot more frequent, and also, violence in chimps can end up with someone dead, whereas no one has ever seen bonobos kill each other.

Kanzi, the really famous bonobo, bit two of Sue Savage Rumbagh's fingers off. Jane Goodall is missing a thumb. Two very good reasons why bonobos and chimps should be illegal as pets!